The World is Still Rich with Opportunity

A few years ago, I came across the quote below made by a reviewer of Richard Carlson’s book, Don’t Worry Make Money, that came out in 1997.         I don’t know the reviewer’s name and never found the review referenced again. But, this was and is an inspiration to me and I have always referred back to it over the years. I have a copy of it on my cubicle at work and on my bathroom wall so I can read it when necessary.

“Do you think that opportunity only knocks once? If you do, Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Worry Make Money, says you’re buying into one of the most perpetuated ‘myths’ in our culture.

Carlson argues that this kind of thing inspires people to do things they really do not want to do. That it is based on a ‘never enough to go around’ mindset that just isn’t true. Thinking that it’s now or never, often encourages bad decision making, for instance, he says. You might take a job you do not want or move to an area that doesn’t really sit well with you.

The world we live in is rich with ever-increasing opportunity, he says. The world is in need of creative people and everyone has their own gifts and talents to offer. You just have to figure out how it’s going to work for you. There are thousands of jobs out there that you can do. There are thousands of business opportunities.

But, Carlson says, first you have to overcome your fear: The fear of not having enough. The fear that you only get one shot and then it’s over.

It’s a big lie. Your life will be filled with great opportunities over and over again.”

On the other hand, you may be a person who has been blessed by some wonderful opportunities. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t more coming your way!

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

Review of movie Stan and Ollie (2018)

I’ve always liked Laurel and Hardy as performers.   They portrayed two kind and sincere people who loved life but life didn’t seem to love them. Their characters had several careers to which they were neither suited nor qualified.   They danced, sang, and made jokes in their movies and live performances.    If you have never seen any of their old material, you are in for a calming treat.  

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy began in silent movies until talkies and lasted from 1927-1955.   1937 was the height of their careers and they should have had a luxurious life but Oliver wasn’t good with money.  They were in 107 short movies, feature films, and cameo roles.   In 1953, they went on their last tours as illustrated in the movie.   Lots of books have been written about them.  

Oliver (played by John C. Reilly) feels that Hal Roach (played by Danny Huston) is not paying him enough of the profits from their movies.   Roach feels that Oliver should stop collecting wives and get a better handle on his money.  The trouble comes when Laurel (played by Steve Coogan) doesn’t support Stan in his attempt to get more money.   Roach’s solution is to replace Oliver with another comedian.

John C. Reilly is a great character actor who came into his own after movies such as Talladega Nights:  The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, Delores Claiborne, Dark Water, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the musical film Chicago that I’ve seen him in, but he has been in 105 movies.

Steve Coogan is also a great character actor of whom I have not seen enough.  I saw him as a villain in the movie The Other Guys, but he, like Reilly, has been in a lot of movies.

Danny Huston I would also describe as a character actor.   I’ve seen him in a few movies such as a vampire leader in 30 Days of Night, a military commander trying to steal the powers of and get rid of all mutants in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, a Nazi commander greedy for power in Wonder Woman, a man using Hitchcock’s wife to get Alfred Hitchcock to read his script in the movie Hitchcock among others.

Shirley Henderson plays Oliver Hardy’s wife, Lucille.   She is a tiny woman with a tiny voice whom I’ve seen in a lot of British movies.   I’ve seen her as a drowned little girl ghost Moaning Myrtle in two Harry Potter movies, Jude in three Bridget Jones movies, Edythe in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Ursula Blake in Dr. Who, DS Angela Young in Death in Paradise, and doing Babu Frik’s voice in Star Wars:  The Rise of Skywalker.

Nina Arianda plays Stan Laurel’s bossy outspoken wife Ida Kitaeva Raphael Laurel with a Russian accent.  She was very good in the role. Unfortunately, the only movie I’ve seen her in is Midnight in Paris, but she is noted for many movies and plays.

Stan and Ollie was directed by Jon S. Baird.  The movie is very true to the acts they performed in real life.   I loved the movie.  Thanks for giving me insight into their lives.

Source:  Wikipedia    

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Ray Bradbury’s still got it!

As a child, I used to hang out in the Pratt library in east Baltimore by myself.   The public library is where I developed my taste for Science Fiction, Gothic Romance and Black Literature.   I remember coming across Ray Bradbury’s books.  

Recently, I was delighted to find that there was a marathon of his short stories broadcast on Comet tv called The Ray Bradbury Theater on Sunday afternoons.   Ray Bradbury himself speaking about how he came up with story ideas was repeated before each story began.

On September 20, 2020, I saw an episode of a Ray Bradbury short story called “A Miracle of Rare Device” (season 3, episode 2, 7/14/89, starring Pat Harrington, Jr. formerly of the “One day at a time” tv show; Wayne Robson, and William Kircher).   It is a story about two scraggly guys who drove around in their beat-up truck looking for whatever they could find to make money.   There was a less scraggly bully on a motorcycle who was always after them to get whatever they could find.

One day they outran the guy by sheer luck and found an opening in the desert on the side of the road in which they hid.   The more intelligent of the two saw over the horizon a mirage of New York City.  It was hard for his partner to see it, but eventually he did also.

The more resourceful fella figured he could charge one dollar per vehicle for others to see it.   A scam coming, right?   But it turned out that others saw what they really needed to see.   Yes, the two men made money, but to them, it became a miracle for the people who came.   The visitors told them what they saw and it seemed like miracles to the two men, who really started appreciating the mirages as miracles.

Of course, the motorcycle man found out about their money-making and took all their money.  And, although he could not see the mirage at all, he planned on taking over, but none of the people who came after that could see the mirage at all either.    Motorcycle man gave up and left the two honest men there with nothing but their truck, not even the mirage.   But eventually they could see it again and they decided to let people see the mirage for free from now on.  

I cried when the individual people told what they saw and when the men concluded that this was something of God.   I had forgotten how good Ray Bradbury’s stories were.  I’ve seen two marathons so far and look forward to seeing more.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Review of book American Apartheid by James S. Wright (2013)

“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.   That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.   That among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.  (his quote from the Declaration of Independence)

This is a short history of three races—Native Americans, the first Americans who were nearly enslaved, African Americans who were enslaved, and the attempted decimation of the Jews during the Holocaust.   There were times in American history in which the things that happened to the three races were interrelated.

Mr. Wright explains the origin of Native Americans and how eventually they were moved west from their land so often that many of them died along the way, for example during the Trail of Tears.  Agencies that were supposed to help them did not.  If they were not Christian, they were considered savages.   Also, freed black slaves were recruited by the Union army to fight against American Indians in the “Indian Wars”.

He repeatedly says that his book is not a history book.  Rather it is his opinion so he does not include footnotes or a bibliography.   Actually, I believe footnotes, etc., would interrupt the flow of his narrative.

There are so many details lacking in many histories that his book should be taught as part of a history curriculum starting at least by middle school when I feel that children of all races should begin to start understanding issues.  

I remember when I was starting junior high school, we had a white history teacher who said that “all slaves did all day was sit on the porch playing the banjo.”   I don’t remember anything else she ever taught us.

“I believe in God.  I love my family, and I think the United States of America is the best country in the world.   [However]  For the past 15 years or so, the Civil Rights Movement, which was aggressive in the 60’s and 70’s, has slowed to a crawl.  Hopefully, this book will inspire a rebirth of the Civil Rights Movement…  This book is a wake-up call for those of us who have gone to sleep on the problem of racism in America.”   James S. Wright

Mr. Wright’s book is easy-reading nonfiction and flows well from chapter to chapter.   His opinions are eye-opening.   He also includes the contributions of the races to America.  This is an appropriate book for these tumultuous times with people of all races demonstrating in masses all around the world against racial, economic, and cultural injustices.

American Apartheid is my personal copy and it should be yours, too.   The reading of his book would certainly be worthy of your time.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

President Trump is a Psychopath: See How Dr. Greenwood Proves It!

Back on February 9, 2016, I posted an article entitled “Did You Know?  Are you a psychopath?” with  http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/wellness/7-facts-about-psychopaths-you-didn’t-know-before as a source.

However, on Twitter June 27, 2020, I found a reference to another article about psychopathy which was more detailed than the one I found previously on MSN.   I followed the source and made a copy of the whole 51-page article from https://medium.com/@vgwcct/a-duty-to-differentially-diagnose-the-validity-underpinning-the-diagnosis-of-the-president.    “A Duty to Differentially Diagnose:  The Validity Underpinning the Diagnosis of the President:  The Substance Behind the Assertion the President has a Serious Psychiatric Condition”.

The article/thesis was written by Vincent Greenwood, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Washington Center for Cognitive Therapy, washingtoncenterforcognitivetherapy.com.   It took me a few days to get through it because I wanted to understand his viewpoint of us not judging President Donald J. Trump who has a mental illness.  Greenwood writes in layman terms so that anyone can understand what he is trying to say. 

He began with two patients going through stress because it was 2020.   “The election year was upon us and the stakes were existential-level profound…more like something precious and vital to their core was under siege…the soul of the country…”

Basically the 45th President “has a disorder with no cure”.   “If you are the psychopath, you need to have a protective concern for all that cross your path, but unfortunately the president is incapable of developing that concern.   It is easy to be judgmental when the diagnostic signs of an illness are traits like constant lying, callousness, and remorselessness.”

“Do we have agency over our impulses and behavior, or are they determined by forces beyond our control (the venerable free will vs. determinism debate)?  What is our moral duty as a society if we had the power to predict that, some among us, are destined to inflict serious harm on our fellow citizens?   How do we balance the civil liberties of a potential perpetrator with the safety of the community?”

Dr. Greenwood answers these questions and more.   He gives a brief history starting with the development of psychiatry as a medical specialty back in 1844.   Reliability and validity were established by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-I) first edition 1952, 1968’s DSM-II, 1980’s DSM-III (the differences between editions were the number of diagnoses as they increased).

Next came the checklist for certain personality disorders:   The Hare Psychopathy Checklist—Revised (PCL-R) which measures the degree of psychopathy (1980 and revised 1991).   There are 20 items for which the examiner is asked to provide a rating of 0, 1, or 2 and the psychopath scores at least 25 or more on the above list of traits. 

“We don’t appreciate how many psychopaths, these dangerous predators [who score 30] are among us because some of the key traits (superficial charm, an ability to con others, lying) are designed to keep the condition hidden from others.”   Dr. Greenwood also discusses the difference between psychopathy and Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) which is a formal diagnosis in DSM-V.

He used examples we could relate to like the “Pre-Cogs” in the movie Minority Report (2002) with Tom Cruise in which crime was reduced to zero in Washington, D.C. because people were arrested before they committed the crime.  The memories of the Pre-Cogs were hacked just as any communication today can be and Tom Cruise’s character was sought for a murder he had not thought of beforehand.

This history of psychopathy was eye-opening and so interesting that I had to read it all.  Dr. Greenwood proves his point!

Written by Rosa L. Griffin 

Pass It On

Empathy

“When someone opens up and shares how they are feeling,

Just listen,

And be there—

You don’t have to have an answer or response.”   Alfred Adler

Empathy is something that is lacking in society today.   And in spite of someone’s political affiliation, we should be able to talk to them about something we have in common—other than politics.  I believe with all my heart that we can agree to disagree.

I remember a Bible verse which says “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.   The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.”  Proverbs 15:1-2, New International Version.

“The values we live by are worth more when we pass them on.”   Passiton.com

I had been seeing these wonderful commercials on television and wondered who produced them.  They are produced by the Foundation for a Better Life.  

“Their goal is to offer inspirational messages to people everywhere as a contribution toward promoting universal values, good role models and a better life.”   They have ads and commercials on tv, radio, billboards, videos, and more.   Check out their website at passiton.com.

I have been inspired and uplifted each time I see their commercials.   I have also subscribed to their emails. Pass it on!

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

V O T E ! The 2020 Presidential Election in Maryland

Unlike the ballots automatically mailed to most registered voters for the June primary election, voters in the General Presidential Election will have to apply for the mail-in ballot.

Ballot request forms (applications) were mailed to Maryland’s 4 million registered voters from August 24 through the end of August.    The actual requested ballots will not be mailed back to those requesting a ballot until early October.   The State Board of Elections has set a deadline of October 20 to request a mail-in ballot (apply).   Election day, November 3, is the deadline for ballots to be received.

The law has been changed so that in Maryland absentee ballots are the same as mail-in ballots.   Absentee voting is the same as mail-in voting.

Early voting begins Monday, October 26 through Monday, November 2 between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

To get a mail-in ballot

Go to elections.maryland.gov   

Click on the Request a Mail-in Ballot graphic or Mail-in Voting under quick links.   Complete and return one of the forms by U.S. mail today or fax to 410-886-0894 today or email a scanned attachment to the fax number today.  There are English and Spanish versions.

Or Text Message

Text VBM (English) or VPC (Spanish) to 777-88 today.  The election board will text you a link to request your mail-in ballot online.

Or Go to the local Board of Elections

Fill out and turn in the form as soon as possible.   The Baltimore County board of elections is located at 11112 Gilroy Road, Suite 104, Hunt Valley 21031.   Phone 410-887-5700, fax 410-887-0894.

When you receive your form, read the instructions, complete the form, print it, sign it, and return it by U.S. mail or place it in a drop box.  There will be at least 270 ballot drop boxes.

Otherwise, Vote In-Person

Early voting begins Monday, October 26 through Monday, November 2 between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.  At elections.maryland.gov, you will find the locations for approximately 80 voting centers statewide.

General Presidential Election is officially Tuesday, November 3, 2020, same hours as above.

Election Judges Needed

To become a judge, visit baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/elections/ or call the Baltimore County Board of Elections at 410-887-5700 whether you are a state employee, college student, etc.

Source:  Northwest Voice, July/August 2020 (A free publication serving Owings Mills, Pikesville, Randallstown, Reisterstown, Windsor Mill, Woodlawn and Catonsville neighborhoods), P.O. Box 47266, Windsor Mill, MD 21244, Phone:  410-508-1424, Web:  nwvoicenews.com, Email:  info@nwvoicenews.com, Publisher:  Kenneth C. Brown, kennybrown@nwvoicenews.com

Review of book My Love Story by Tina Turner (2018)

After reading Ms. Turner’s book, I’m reminded of Kelly Clarkson’s song, A Moment Like This.

“Some people wait a lifetime…

some people search forever…

for that one special kiss…

Oh, I can’t believe it’s happening to me…

Could this be the greatest love of all…”

Songwriters:  John Reid/Jorgen Elofsson

Lyrics Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

In her prior book, What’s Love Got to Do With It, Ms. Turner had finally loved herself and her children enough to fight for her freedom from physical and sexual abuse.  She was a young woman when she met the talented Ike Turner, musician who became boss of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue.   But only faith in her God and finally realizing that she did not have to stay in that situation brought her through the abuse, overwork, and lack of money. 

Even her mother helped keep her in the imprisonment because her mother admired Ike and credited Ike with everything positive that occurred.   Women were only a means to an end for Ike so he kept many even in their home.   After a while, Tina was just a meal ticket for Ike.   It’s like a Cinderella story but more like the Grimm version.   Once she escaped, she became a role model to other abused people.  All she kept was her stage name.  Her troubled past is merely a point of reference in this book to compare to her happy future.

My Love Story gives some of the above background for those who don’t already know her story.   But the rest of this book is pure happiness in spite of medical problems in her later life.   This book is written when Ms. Turner is 73, and after she has written other books.   She is still full of life, looks, and love.   It is a love story to her current husband, Erwin Bach, German record executive, and fans like me.   When it comes to love, race nor country matter.   What matters is freedom of choice, respect, individuality, etc.

My Love Story has beautiful color pictures in the inside front and back covers, and in the middle of the book.  Ms. Turner talks of her friendships established with various musicians like David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and other music industry people like Beyonce’. There was even a London musical done about her life which became a Broadway musical.    She has earned twelve Grammy Awards, a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was in a movie role “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome”, received a Kennedy Center Honor, and sold more concert tickets than any other solo music performer in history by 2018.   She also continues to get letters from abused people about their situations.  This is a positive book.  You will really get a lift from reading this book.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Review of movie Nymphomaniac vol. 1&2 Extended Editor’s Cut (2013)

This is a very artistic movie by Lars Von Trier.   The movie literally started with a black screen with only the sound of rain hitting metal and opening onto a fully clothed body lying in an alley. 

I was pleasantly surprised to see Stellan Skarsgard as the celibate man Seligman who rescued adult main female lead Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) who was left in an alley in the rain after a vicious beating by an old boyfriend.   Seligman listened to her story all night that she narrated from her childhood to adulthood.   Her memories stopped several times so Seligman could comment on her experiences, ask questions, or answer questions.  These were the peaceful, non-violent scenes when his opinions were translated into beautiful cinematography.

Christian Slater was great as Joe’s doctor father who spent a great deal of outdoor time with his daughter when she was little, teaching her about trees (his hobby).   She was also going to school to study medicine later on but gave it up.   Again, peaceful, non-violent times.  However, her mother was there only for a few minutes during the movie and basically disappeared.     

As a young girl Joe requested her first sex with a neighbor Jerome (Shia LaBoeuf), who came back into her life years later as her boss with whom she again had sex and a baby.  

I did not like the idea of Joe (Stacy Martin) and her girlfriend as young unchaperoned teenage girls participating in sex with men.   The girl who had sex with the most men on a train was rewarded with a bag of candy as the prize.  Why she and her girl friend had so much time by themselves was not explained.

As an adult, she also had sex with several strangers as well as K a sadist (Jamie Bell).  Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) was so obsessed with orgasm and physical sex that she damaged her own genitals when she got older from overuse. 

Joe’s character was truly a nymphomaniac who left her toddler alone to go meet her sadist.   The baby would have fallen off their balcony if not for the father coming home just in time.   She ended up giving the baby away.    She was a true nymphomaniac addicted to sex at any cost, not like the movie Diary of a Nymphomaniac that I reviewed in 2017.     

Mrs. H (Uma Thurman) was the screaming wife of one of young Joe’s lovers.  L (Willem Dafoe) was a guy who hired older Joe as a money collector in which she tortured people with their own truths.   There were other great actors playing other parts also like Connie Nielsen, Udo Kier, Caroline Goodall, Cyron Melville, etc.   During the commentary, Stacy Martin (young Joe) said that there were stand-ins for the sex scenes.  

The combined vol. 1 & 2 Extended Editor’s Cut was 5.5 hours long total, and I watched both volumes to see whether Joe would change her behavior or her life, which she did not.   But Joe did survive to the end.   The NC-17-rated movie was violent and graphic.   However, there is an unexpected twist at the end that fades into darkness.  

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Are Social Security and Medicare at Risk?

“You don’t have to worry about the government eliminating them.  They are among the most popular programs in the country.  It is unrealistic to believe that Congress would make these programs go away.

At the current rate of withdrawal, though, and under current law, all Social Security beneficiaries will see their benefits cut 23 percent in about 15 years.  It’s time for a bipartisan solution to the problem.  One party would prefer to raise taxes to preserve current benefits.  The other party would prefer to lower or delay benefits in order to not raise taxes.  The two are going to have to compromise.  The sooner that they begin working on the solution, the less painful it will be for all Americans.”

Quote by Ric Edelman, founder of Edelman Financial Engines, as quoted in the May 2020 issue of AARP Bulletin, vol. 61, no.4, pp.22-23: “Expert Advice for Volatile Times: Some of the Sharpest Minds in the Financial World Break Down What’s Going on in the Economy and How You Can Ride It Out”.

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

Separation of Church and State

There was an interesting discussion on Twitter on June 24, 2020 about the separation of church and state.

Some one mentioned that the separation of church and state is not in the U.S. Constitution.   The idea was mentioned by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Virginia Danbury Baptist Church.   Many other Twitter contributors brought up what they considered to be negative uses of money in today’s crystal cathedrals, jets, and other signs of wealth that some megachurches have while other churches are poor and actually do what Jesus would do in helping the poor, etc.   

I had to look it up and Time magazine did an article on it which verified what was discussed on Twitter.  The First Amendment only prohibits government from creating a law regarding the establishment of a religion.

 Sources:    

https://time.com/5103677/church-state-separation-religious-freedom/

A popular current text, the King James Version shows 1 Timothy 6:10 to be: For the love of money is the root of all of evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Love_of_money

 12 ¶ And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 13 And said unto them, It is written, My ahouse shall be called the house of bprayer; but ye have made it a cden of thieves.   


Matthew 21 – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

www.churchofjesuschrist.org › study › scriptures › matt

Also check www.irs.gov on Charities, Churches, and Politics.

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin