10/13/2012: Still at The Grenada, preparing for polyp operation, Presidential Debates, and Epinions Return!
Reviews Written: 567
Member Visits: 45,348
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Blog: January 4, 2011: In regard to the dreaded "Obama Health Care Plan," here is what came into effect, as of January 1:
". . . insurance companies are required to spend at least 80 to 85 percent of premiums--the money you send them each month--on health care, not on overhead or executive salaries. [This change brings the administrative costs of our sprawling "healthcare system" (up to now, over 30%, into line with, say, the present Canadian system). The Republicans in the House and Senate will attempt to overturn this and other provisions coming on line soon.]
"For seniors, the Medicare Part D donut hole continues to close. Their costs for brand-name medications will be cut in half when they reach the coverage gap, and over the next decade, that gap will be closed entirely. They'll also get free preventive care under Medicare like mammograms and colonoscopies. [You will remember that the original Medicare Part D, a monstrosity was sponsored by the G.W. Administration; it raised my medication costs, at least.]
"Meanwhile, new programs are going into effect to help improve the quality of care--and lower costs--by examining best practices and exploring innovative strategies for delivering care.[Republicans are proudly on record as wanting to thwart these new programs.]
"All this is in addition to the reforms that went into effect last year--from allowing young adults up to age 26 to stay on their parents insurance, to helping small businesses cover their employees, to stopping insurance companies from taking away your health care if you get sick or discriminating against kids with pre-existing conditions.
"Of course, the new year also brought with it a new Republican majority in the House of Representatives, and Speaker-elect Boehner has promised to repeal health care reform, taking away all these new protections and putting the insurance companies back in charge.
"So let me put this as clearly as I can: It's not gonna happen. In fact, some of my colleagues and I sent Speaker-elect Boehner a letter making it clear that we will absolutely not allow him to hurt families, worsen the deficit, and raise taxes on the middle class by repealing health care." [Quoted from a newsletter by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, this day.]
DOES THE ABOVE SOUND SO TERRIBLY FRIGHTENING? Granted, the Insurance companies will struggle their mightiest to make up their profits. KEEP AN EYE ON THEM, and our New Saviors, the incoming Republicans.
Macresarf1's Biographical Sketch: Born in a little town east of Cleveland, Ohio, I attended Kent State, taking a degree in Political Science and History; served in the U.S. Army (Anti-Aircraft Artillery) at Lakenheath Airbase in Suffolk, East Anglia, England.
This experience was one the most memorable of my existence because my people are Scots and, other than my father and mother, I had never met a relative in my life. I was able to visit a number of them in England and Scotland.
I also enjoyed military life. I understand a soldier's mind. My father, the best read, the kindest, the toughest man I ever met, was a machine gunner in the Cameron Highlanders for four years in World War I. He liked to grow Easter lilies, loved the Tradition of Arms, and taught me the Grandstanders Americans so love, the Custers and the Pattons, make their reputations on the dead bodies of young men, and often, eventually their own.
To this wisdom, we should add what a caller on "talk radio," called, "Onward Christian Nazis [let's make that "Constantinian" because these blood-thirsty folk are not followers of Jesus], Defenders of the New World Order, Marching as to War" -- Chicken Hawks, who avoided combat or Service themselves altogether, in order to better send other Citizens' sons and daughters to fight an "unwinnable war against terror" (as Stars and Stripes extrapolated it -- 10/24/04: and as the President has now repeatedly termed it, as recently as yesterday) after "a catastrophic success," the product of phenomenal ignorance, in Iraq: President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Chaney, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearle, Karl Rove, David Frume, Douglas Feith, John Negroponte, Elliot Abrams, almost the whole Project for the New American Century group, who like to call themselves the Cabal. They have also done more than any other group in the History of the United States to re-establish destruction of the Environment, mislead the Public on the existance of Global Warming and its extent, roll back social programs, break long standing International treaties, and saddle the country with crippling, eventually inflation-creating National Debt. They have insured that America will be regarded as a hate-inducing isolate for decades to come.
Upon my return, I took graduate work in English at KSU and came west with my first wife to the Bay Area of California. I have been married twice, have four grown children.
My interest in the drift of America toward Fascism stems from early movie experiences in the 1940's, the events of World War II, and reading John dos Passos's U.S.A.. That interest accelerated, if not when observing American actions in the 1950's and Dwight Eisenhower's warning about "The Military-Industrial Complex," certainly with the Assassination of President John Kennedy and those killings or incident which came after, followed by a deepening of the Vietnam War and Watergate.
Having gone to Kent State, one of the numerous founders there of The Macedoneans, a precursor of The Students for a Democratic Society, I was grievingly aware of the events surrounding Ohio's Kent State student shootings of May 4, 1970 by National Guardsmen. I journeyed there immediately after the events. I believe that those murders, and similar killings and wounding of Black students at Jackson State, Mississippi, were planned to make an example of those citizens who might dissent to the plan by the Nixon Administration to publicly do what it had been illegally doing in expanding the Vietnam War into Cambodia.
I URGE ALL OF YOU WHO READ MY BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH TO GO TO michaelmoore.com AND WATCH THE TESTIMONIALS OF "THE KENT STATE TRUTH TRIBUNAL," RECORDED BY EMILY KUNSTLER (DAUGHTER OF INDEFATIGABLE CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY WILLIAM KUNSTLER) AND DRIVEN BY LAUREL KRAUSE, A SISTER OF ALLISON KRAUSE, ONE OF THE STUDENTS SHOT TO DEATH AT KENT. AFTER FORTY YEARS, MANY OF THE STORIES ARE PROFOUNDLY MOVING. PLEASE HELP MAKE THAT CAUSE YOUR OWN WITH TESTIMONY, DONATIONS, OR ANY OTHER WAY YOU CAN.
As the result of my experiences, I have been active in politics, civil rights and union activities all my adult life.
As Macresarf1, Alex Fraser has published over 560 reviews, essays, stories and poems at Epinions.com.
At wellesnet.com (now on Facebook), as Glenn Anders, he has posted over 1200 comments upon the career and work of Orson Welles, a subject of great interest to him since he heard the Mercury Theater on the Air Production of H.G.Welles "The War of the Worlds" on October 31, 1938, and saw CITIZEN KANE at the age of nine in the late spring of 1941.
Macresarf1 (a.k.a. Alex Fraser) is cited and acknowledged by Popular Culture Scholar, Clinton Heylin (the definitive biographer of Bob Dylan), in his Despite the System: Orson Welles vs. the Hollywood Studios. Heylin refers to Macresarf1's Epinion-memory of the famous "lost" version of Welles' MR. ARKADIN/CONFIDENTIAL REPORT. He has also been credited by Director Stefan Droessler of the Munich Film Museum as being an influence on his MR. ARKDIN: THE COMPREHENSIVE VERSION, included within Criterion's three disc box set: THE COMPLETE MR.ARKADIN (a.k.a CONFIDENTIAL REPORT, 2007).
He was pleased to receive an Author's Page at San Francisco's Red Room, a burgeoning registry for writers in San Francisco, the United States, and around the World.
Favorite Authors: Robert Stone, Flannery O'Connor, Richard Yates, James Baldwin, Joseph Conrad, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Graham Greene, James Elroy. Carson McCullers, Knut Hamsun.
Nickname: Macresarf1 -- Glenn Anders --Daniel Dravot2 -- Miles Archer
Relationships: Phyllis Jean Fruin, 1959-1968; Grace Jean Fulmer, 1969-1980
Mary Ann Hunter, 1982-1990.
Family: Sons: Jason Fraser, Guy Fraser, and Paul Stelmashuk; Daughters: Miranda Fraser Holmes and Melinda Stelmashuk Hohrnhauser; Grandchildren: Laversa Azure Fraser, Nicholas Bruce Holmes.
Monday, December 20, 2010: And still, nothing much has changed since I was last here in February. Obama and the Democrats continue to be rolled. Americans are hopelessly confused, for sure, and we are about to descend into a new period of McCarthyism, presided over by my fellow Kent State University Graduate, Representative Darryl Issa, formerly of Cleveland, now of California.
Thursday, February 11, 2010: Unfortunately, nothing much has changed since I last blogged here on Tuesday, December 1, 2009, except that the World's Financial System has been teetering on a collapse, which continues anew in Greece. [The solution offered by the Andrew Breitbart BigEconomics gang of the Mercury Public Relations LLC groups is: Let those Greek peasants starve; they don't count in our Godalmighty Bottom Line.] The "war on terror" continues, of course, with Our President Obama about to request 700 billion dollars to maintain and extend it. And at home, the vaunted Obama Health Care Plan has been finessed by Senator Mitch McConnell and his Republicans into a bail out for the Health Insurance Companies. Finally, the looting of the Treasury and Economy by the Wall Street Corporatists, unrestrained by Obama, continues. :
I am reminded anew of a poem, much quoted (and misinterpreted) at the time of 9/11, which I sampled then for its darkly heroic wisdom:
SEPTEMBER 1, 1939 by W.H. Auden
"I sit in one of the dives/
On Fifty-second Street/
Uncertain and afraid/
As the clever hopes expire/
Of a low dishonest decade:/
Waves of anger and fear/
Circulate over the bright/
And darkened lands of the earth,/
Obsessing our private lives;/
The unmentionable odour of death/
Offends the September night.
"Accurate scholarship can/
Unearth the whole offence/
From Luther until now/
That has driven a culture mad,/
Find what occurred at Linz,/
What huge imago made/
A psychopathic god:/
I and the public know/
What all schoolchildren learn,/
Those to whom evil is done/
Do evil in return.
"Exiled Thucydides knew/
All that a speech can say/
And what dictators do,/
The elderly rubbish they talk/
To an apathetic grave;/
Analysed all in his book,/
The enlightenment driven away,/
The habit-forming pain,/
Mismanagement and grief:/
We must suffer them all again.
"Into this neutral air/
Where blind skyscrapers use/
Their full height to proclaim/
The strength of Collective Man,/
Each language pours its vain/
But who can live for long/
In an euphoric dream;/
Out of the mirror they stare,/
And the international wrong.
"Faces along the bar/
Cling to their average day:/
The lights must never go out,/
The music must always play,/
All the conventions conspire/
To make this fort assume/
The furniture of home;/
Lest we should see where we are,/
Lost in a haunted wood,/
Children afraid of the night/
Who have never been happy or good.
"The windiest militant trash/
Important Persons shout/
Is not so crude as our wish:/
What mad Nijinsky wrote/
Is true of the normal heart;/
For the error bred in the bone/
Of each woman and each man/
Craves what it cannot have,/
Not universal love/
But to be loved alone.
"From the conservative dark/
Into the ethical life/
The dense commuters come,/
Repeating their morning vow;/
'I will be true to the wife,/
I'll concentrate more on my work,'/
And helpless governors wake/
To resume their compulsory game:/
Who can release them now,/
Who can reach the dead,/
Who can speak for the dumb?
"All I have is a voice/
To undo the folded lie,/
The romantic lie in the brain/
Of the sensual man-in-the-street/
And the lie of Authority/
Whose buildings grope the sky:/
There is no such thing as the State/
And no one exists alone;/
Hunger allows no choice/
To the citizen or the police;/
We must love one another or die.
"Defenseless under the night/
Our world in stupor lies;/
Yet, dotted everywhere,/
Ironic points of light/
Flash out wherever the Just/
Exchange their messages:/
May I, composed like them/
Of Eros and of dust,/
Beleaguered by the same/
Negation and despair,/
Show an affirming flame."
I pray (something I don't do easily) that my foreboding is unwarranted, and that we shall watch more than young men maim each other on our TV sets, as we seek some hope in the new political season.
Earlier Blogs have been incorporated into my Epinions Site List, or have been archived, and may be seen upon request.
Please frequent my WOT. I look for good writing, ability, detail, and judgment in the people I select.
If in San Francisco, for whatever reason, you are always urged to frequent, The Edinburgh Castle (on Geary, near Polk Street), the City's premier "literary bar," especially during Litquake, each Fall, which Manager Alan Black helped found.
Unfortunately, the new/old "Underbelly of the City," formerly represented by the authentic Sam Spade-type bar, The Ha-Ra Club, sponsored by Owner "Fireman Rick" Fugari, "Cruel Karl the Bartender," and Noir City's Eddie Muller, was is not in evidence this year. [But Muller's distinguished Noir City continues, spreading out across the nation, in fact.
[More chi-chi visitors may wish to explore "The Whiskey Thieves," almost next door to the Ha-Ra Club
For full details continuing Edinburgh Castle literary and artistic activity, please consult:
Reviews of MOVIES directed by, featuring, or touching on Orson Welles, an obsession of mine since childhood:
F FOR FAKE
THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
TOUCH OF EVIL
THE MAN WHO SAW TOMORROW
THE BIG BRASS RING
CRADLE WILL ROCK
THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER
THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE
THE MASK OF DIMITRIOS
BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF FILM
THE MALTESE FALCON
The Musee D'Orsay
"The New War of the Worlds": Bush Goes to Mars
TOP TEN SOUNDTRACKS OF ALL TIME
Reviews of RECOMMENDED: Significant, sometimes out of the way Movies released in last decade on DVD:
AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH
THE ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON
CHILDREN OF MEN
THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER
GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK
JFK -- DIRECTOR'S CUT
LORD OF WAR
KHRUSTALYOV, MISHINU[Contact Epinionator ambrosewhite to buy a copy.]>
MYSTIC RIVER -- Special Edition
NAKED CITY (Criterion Edition)
NIGHT AND THE CITY (1949 --Criterion Edition)
OVERLORD (Criterion Edition)
THE POWER OF NIGHTMARES: THE RISE OF THE POLITICS OF FEAR
11'9"01 -- SEPTEMBER 11, 2001>
THE WILD BUNCH
MACRESARF1'S TEN BEST LISTS:>
My first Music CD review to reach the magic 5,000 Circle is about the scores for classic movies, even if back in the days I wrote it, I had not learned yet that it is bad form to fudge about only ten selections. And now the review has gone to . . . hey! -- 7,000, so get your feet wet!
Best Ten Classic Movie Soundtracks
My Ten Best Motion Picture Dramas are entering Stage Right with 5000 readers
Best Ten Motion Picture Dramas
Best Ten Film Noirs
<[Over 38,500 people have read about my favorite Epic Films. What's wrong with my Ten Best Movies of All Time?]>
Best Ten Movie Epicsbr>
[My Thriller/Suspense List, while I was distracted, have gained over 61,000 Readers, surpassing the efforts of Horror Film fans -- Join the crowd at, often at better than 500 a month. Why? BEATS ME!]
Best Ten Thriller/Suspense Films:
[Over 15,000 people have read my "virtual life" thesis on Sci-Fi Films. Why not you?]
My List of the Best Sci-Fi Films Ever ("In Our Time)
The following odd and last laughs are at 11,000 reads now.>br>
My Personal Ten Best Comedies
[And over 37,500 people have consulted this next list, Best Horror Films, growing by hundreds of reads a month! The figures just keep climbing, even in the summer months. It must do something for them!] --
My list of the Best Horror Films Ever
My Ten Best Movies Ever
The Ten Best Halloween Movies
The Ten Best Movies of 2006
The Ten Best Movies of 2005
The Ten Best Movies of 2004
The Ten Best Movies of 2003
The Ten Best Movies of 2002
<2001 must have been a very good year because, only seven years of Bush later (and two of Obama), this ten best list has gone over the 5,500 number; I hope this is not a mindless reaction to our casualty lists.
The Ten Best Movies of 2001
The Ten Best Movies of 2000
The Ten Best Movies of 1999
My Ten Best Movies of the 1990's List was my first in this decade category area to gain 5,000. Now over 9,000 readers have read it!
The Ten Best Movies of the 1990's
Unbeknownst to me, my TEN BEST MOVIES OF THE 1940'S zoomed, now is moving out above 40,000!!
The Ten Best Movies of the 1940's>
If the Ten Best Movies of the 1940's are so popular, can The Ten Best of the 1950's be too far behind? They broke the 5,000 mark easily -- and are about to top 20,500:
The Ten Best Movies of the 1950's>
MUSIC CD's and POETRY:>
Nellie McKay: GET AWAY FROM ME! -- Macresarf1 Receives a Valentine from a New Star
Phil Sainton's Score for John Huston's MOBY DICK Is a Real Discovery
"THE POWER OF TWO" -- John Temmerman
SAX AND VIOLENCE -- Two for the Price of One
The Top Ten Soundtracks of All Time??? Okay, Cue 'em Up!
I Have My BODY HEAT BACK! But Does Robert Blake?
This CD has hit the 5,500 reads mark. Must have been Bobby Blake and the Phil Spector Trial, on a similar matter:
WHITE HEAT FILM NOIR: The Bobby Blake Murder Case Connection
[Paul] Zimmer -- THE GREAT BIRD OF LOVE Will Seduce You with His Wisdom
TEN SAN FRANCISCO RESTAURANTS THAT MACRESARF1 RECOMMENDS, in various styles and for various pocketbooks:
THE ELITE CAFE
SOME OF MY BEST REVIEWS:
What the Extraordinary DVD of CITIZEN KANE May Not Tell You
VERTIGO: It Was No PICNIC But Judy Fell for Hitch in the End.
TWO FOR THE ROAD Is One of the Best Films about Marriage.
JFK: A Criminal Investigation Is Not a Movie.
WHO'LL STOP THE RAIN? -- No One! We continue to live in a drizzling fog.
PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN: Calamity and Hope United.
"Would You Be So Kind as to Direct Me to BURBERRY'S?"
Orson's d'ORSAY (Musee d'Orsay)
And in this Travel area, here is my first review to break 5,000: The City of Mazatlan on Mexico's Pacific Coast. The boat, plane, train or burro leaves at Midnight!
GOOD SAN FRANCISCO RESTAURANTS:
If you would like to find many of Macresarf1's Epinions indexed by category, some with URL's, follow this direction:
All Macresarf1's Epinions, Indexed. [Part of the "Open Your Heart for Emily" Write-off]
My first "Destinations" (Boutiques) review to hit 5,000 -- Now, it's 5,500:br>
Macresarf1's Epinion of THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY is the first and only of his restaurant reviews to reach the magic "5000 Reads Mark." Epinionators have a sweet fang. The score is now over 26,000. Take a look:
THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY Requires a Re-designed Production Line>
It had to come! [Avoid a bad pun here.] Send the kids to bed with their cheesecake; my only (soft) porn movie review has rolled over the 5000 mark. Teri Weigel broke 15,500 for Hogmanay 2009! And now in time for April Fools Day -- 2012, she breaks 20,500. EMBARRASSING!! Teri just keeps going out of control, orgasm after orgasm, at about 500 a year:
PLAYBOY-VIDEO CENTERFOLD-TERI WEIGEL: Bambo-Bambo in the "Trick or Treat, Feel the Heat Halloween W/O."
< But here is a link to one of my most popular and distinguished reviews. This single review has been read by over 13,000 people in eight years time. Not so remarkable, at this point, but not too shabby, either. Take a chance --
MULHOLLAND DRIVE: David Lynch's Best Film in Years
Another "horror" film has joined MULHOLLAND DRIVE in "The Over 5000 Reader Circle," in this case, an obscure film based on the Faust theme, in Black and White, from 1941, based on a short story by a forgotten American writer . . . you figure it out! But it is a darn good little picture. Now at 7,000:
THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER
After along time, one of the touchstone films, mother and father for scores of copycats, THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME gains 5,000 readers
THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME
And finally, my review of CITIZEN KANE, long a favorite of mine, has rounded the bend toward 5,000 readers! It has taken about eight years, but I could never have a nicer 2010 Christmas present from some of you than to make that number, 5500. [There! I knew you could do it.] Check out the movie that started it all for me:
UPDATE -- August 9, 2012: Here is a little list I posted after our horrendous imperial venture into the Middle East and Central Asia, on March 17,2003 -- Everything which has happened since has reinforced the idea that these Movie reviews make informative reading while George W. Bush continues to single-mindedly drive our Little Red, Black and Blue Waggon toward Armageddon:
WHY WE ARE IN IRAQ:<
Three Prophetic Films --
MOBY DICK: The Search Goes On!
[The least distinguished film of these three is the next one, the first to reach the 5,000 mark! Wouldn't you know it? Now, Mr. Welles has 7,500 Epinions fans looking into the abyss of our endless "war on terror," as we plunge deeper into Afghanistan. HOW COME MORE PEOPLE ARE NOT CONCERNED??]
THE MAN WHO SAW TOMORROW Was Orson Wel -- er, Nostradamus
OUR LADY OF THE ASSASSINS: Metaphor for Why Thousands of Americans Died Recently
Notes on the War on Terrorism --
THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE -- to the Future?
GUNGA DIN: All That Is Old Does Become New . . . .
Armagedon:THE REAL GLORY. Another Old Movie Is Relevant Again.
THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING Must Keep His Head.
THE MASK OF DIMITRIOS Concealed Our Future.
THE QUIET AMERICAN Shouts "Charge!" all over the World Now.
THE TRIALS OF HENRY KISSINGER: Not to Worry -- He's Here When We Need Him!!
WHO'LL STOP THE RAIN? No one! We continue to live in a drizzling fog!
THE CONVERSATION Is Renewed in Our Time -- A Simply Crispy "How They Started W/O"
THE GREY ZONE: Heroism and Complicity Joined by Horror -- The Great Indie of 2002
In THE BANK, Anthony LaPaglia is God in a Better Suit.
This Page was once dedicated to Jazz at the Movie's Band CD, WHITE HEAT and its companion, BODY HEAT (both reviewed in my list, and featured on the juke box at The Ha-Ra Club, Geary at Larkin Street, San Francisco), also to the three courageous bartenders of the Ha-Ra Club, Carl (often on the lam, or carrying on satanic rituals in the cellar) and Jerry (usually cruising the Pacific with a beautiful woman on a luxury liner), or the sophisticated French woman, Nina, sometimes vacationing south of Paris -- not to mention, "As Time Goes By," the Boss of the Ha-Ra, "Fireman Rick" Figari.
Within the last few weeks that music and dozens of other easily accessible modern classics on CD have been replaced by a punch-up system and huge speakers which, to the mind of some, spoil the intimacy of what has been called "The Finest Dive Bar in Frisco." Go to the Ha-Ra Club and respectfully ask for our music to be returned to us!
UPDATE: Carl Kickery has had a midlife crisis and has taken a contract with an un-named black ops outfit to make his way into Afghanistan by way working his way up the Mekong River in Cambodia. His quarry: Osama bin Ladin. His partner Gary Faulkner, who after initial difficulties, intends to bring back bin Laden with Carl, dead or alive. Meanwhile, Good Old Jerry, greatly disturbed to be left out of Carl's derring do, fell and broke his arm in three places, but is said to be fit for duty again. Fireman Rick, pressed into hard service, took up the slack, refurbished the bathrooms, and started serving beer. He also hired supple blonde "Sunny" and a red-head mick named Casey to spell him. The beautiful Nina floats in the background (as they used to say).
To all Members and Visitors, may I say, should you have any problems, though no longer listed as an Advisor or Top Reviewer, I will be glad to give you any assistance I can.
Pointing out that the value of Epinions is always in the work of the Epinionators, I wish you enlightening experiences here . . . .
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