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President Obama said today that Sony made a mistake in deciding to cancel "The Interview."
That's not who we are. That's not what America's about....We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States...
...Because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they do when they start seeing a documentary they don't like, or news reports they don't like. Or even worse, imagine if producers or distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don't want to offend the sensibilities of someone whose sensibilities probably need to be offended.
...The company shouldn't have been deterred from releasing its movie "any more than we stop going to a football game because there might be the possibility of a terrorist attack, any more than Boston didn't run its marathon this year because of the possibility that somebody might try to cause harm."
Obama said he wished Sony called him before making the decision. Good to know that Sony can just pick up a phone and get put through to the President. Can any other corporations do that?
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Following threats by hackers to launch attacks on theaters who show "The Interview", a comedy movie by Sony Pictures about a planned assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Sony announced yesterday it is canceling the release of the film. The announcement followed decisions by several movie chains not to show the movie. Sony has no plans to release the film in the future.
Some criticize Sony's cancellation saying they are giving in to cyberterrorists, and it's a slippery slope. Others say better safe than sorry.
According to Reuters, the U.S. believes North Korea, not keyboard terrorists sitting in their parents' basement, is behind the Sony hacks and threats.
Why didn't Sony just release it to cable "On Demand", Netflix, iTunes and Amazon?
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On behalf of Sony, lawyer David Boies has written a letter to media organizations (available here)threatening to sue them if they publish the materials hackers obtained from its computer network.
Can Sony win such a lawsuit? Eugene Volokh of the Volokh Conspiracy analyzes the issue and concludes "Probably not, at least as to most of the information that media outlets would want to publish."
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Time Magazine released its list of the 8 finalists for Person of the Year today. Here's the list (not from Time, because it has an auto play video.) Pretty lackluster. There are some odd choices, like Taylor Swift. And redundant ones, like Vladimir Putin, who was chosen in 2007 and 2012.
It's not a popularity contest. Time writes:
TIME's choices for Person of the Year are often controversial. Editors are asked to choose the person or thing that had the greatest impact on the news, for good or ill — guidelines that leave them no choice but to select a newsworthy — not necessarily praiseworthy — cover subject.
Since groups of persons are now eligible, how did ISIS not make the list?
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Tonight is the 34th anniversary of the killing of John Lennon.
There are millions of people in this world whose lives were enriched by John Lennon, his persona and his music. He told his truth and it was the truth of an entire generation. His death was a tragedy, but his life was an inspiration.
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Rudy Giuliani is justly taking a heap of justly deserved criticism for his comments on Meet the Press about race and crime today. In a discussion about Ferguson and the disproportionate number of white cops in neighborhoods with a large minority population, he complained that too much attention was being paid to the Michael Brown shooting. He rattled off statistics about black on black crime. When another guest on the show objected, he said:
“White police officers wouldn’t be there,” Giuliani said, “if you weren’t killing each other.”
You can watch the segment here.
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Monday night, Unimas began airing the Colombian narcodrama "En La Boca del Lobo" (In the Mouth of the Wolf.) It's the story of the guy who took down the Cali Cartel in Colombia and is based on the book with the same name, written by Cali cartel journalist William C. Rempel.
Ricardo is known as Richard in the world of the mafia and became Chief of security of one of the kingpins of the Cali Cartel. After the death of his best friend and his family, Ricardo has nothing more to lose. In search of redemption in a very corrupt world, he is willing to give the Cali Cartel to the CIA. But when the operation fails, Ricardo is seen 'in the mouth of the Wolf' and must fight for their survival, "reads a statement from the chain.
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A doctor in New York who recently returned from Africa has been confirmed to have Ebola. It was the main story on CNN (Sirius in the car) all afternoon, segment after segment.
He went bowling (I think they said last night) and he took an Uber taxi to the bowling alley. His girlfriend is in quarantine.
Every politician and doctor interviewed said there's no threat to anyone except those he came in direct contact with, which is very few people. Since he's a doctor, he knew what to look for and acted appropriately. So why is this such important news?
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Will the real liberal please stand up? An interesting and heated verbal battle between actor Ben Affleck and talk show host Bill Maher over Islam as a religion on Maher's show. Also chiming in: Nicholas Kristof, Michael Steele, and author Sam Harris.
My take: Maher and Harris should stay seated. They come off as total Islamophobes. Steele, the former chair of the Republican party expressed more progressive views than the two of them.
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Broadchurch is a really good English murder series that aired last year and will be back for Season 2. For some unfathomable reason, Fox has made a so-called "American" prime-time version of it called Gracepoint, which began airing tonight. Why bother? We didn't need translation, both were in English. It uses the screenshots from the English version and features the lead actor from Broadchurch(who now speaks with an American accent.) Even Ana Gunn can't save it. The actress playing her role in Broadchurch was much better. [More...]
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The Good Wife returned for a new season Sunday night. I really didn't care for last season but tuned in anyway, expecting to be bored. I'm glad I did. Someone must have slipped some steroids into the writers' morning Wheaties. [More...]
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"Stand Up to Cancer" is airing on all major networks tonight. The cable networks began at 6pm MT, our local stations are airing it at 7 pm MT.
Are any of you watching? Here's a place to comment, either about the show or cancer.
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Joan Rivers has died.
"It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers," Melissa Rivers said in a written statement today. "She passed peacefully at 1:17 p.m. surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother.
According to the Daily News, Melissa made the decision to remove her from life support.
As to comments, keep them positive or post them elsewhere. We have a policy that we don't criticize people on the occasion of their death.
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My iPhone 5s died yesterday. It just wouldn't turn on. I ended up having to plug it into my computer and restore the factory settings, and then an old backup. It took hours, and it worked -- until this morning. Dead as a doornail again.
I took it to the Apple store, and without my even asking, they offered me a brand new phone, same model. They set it up in 5 minutes. (Now I have to sync it and get all my music and apps back on it, but at least I won't have to keep doing it tomorrow and the next day.) Thank you Apple!
Apple is coming out with a 13" iPad. I still have the original iPad, which doesn't work with a lot of more advanced video apps, so maybe it will be time for a new one. I really like the big screen -- but then, I'm one of the few people I know who still prefer a desktop to a laptop. Anyone else tempted to buy it? [More...]
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The Emmys have been so boring. Maybe it is the low-key production. But they just picked up with Aaron Paul winning Best supporting actor for Breaking Bad.
Here's a thread for all things Emmy related.
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