The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Stalin.... and his use of body doubles.....

I ran across this article reading another historical magazine, and figured I would expound upon it.   I knew for a long time that Stalin had employed "doubles" to guard against assassination, and to do things that he didn't want to do.  Here is a picture of Stalin visiting Berlin.

The truth of the matter was that this was reenactment in 1949 and that wasn't Stalin.  Stalin never went to Berlin as I understand it.  he had a fear of flying and used trains exclusively, for his meeting in Potsdam and in Yalta. 
Mikheil Gelovani

In 1938, Gelovani first portrayed Stalin in Mikheil Chiaureli's The Great Dawn. His performance won him the Order of the Red Banner of Labour on 1 February 1939 and the Stalin Prize during 1941. Afterwards, Gelovani "established a monopoly on the role of Stalin", which he continued to portray in twelve other pictures until the premier's death.Gelovani greatly resembled Stalin physically, except in his stature: he was much taller than the latter. Reportedly, he was not the premier's favorite candidate for depicting himself on screen: since he was Georgian, he mimicked Stalin's accent "to perfection". Therefore, the leader personally preferred Aleksei Dikiy, who used classic Russian pronunciation. However, Gelovani appeared in his role much more than Dikiy. According to the The Guinness Book of Movie Facts and Feats, Gelovani had probably portrayed the same historical figure more than any other actor. When the two met, the general secretary told the actor: "you are observing me thoroughly... You do not waste time, do you?"
Soviet cinema played an important part in cultivating the leader's cult of personality: from 1937 and onward, in a gradual process, Stalin's reign was legitimized by depicting him as Vladimir Lenin's most devout follower[ and by positively presenting historical autocrats - like in Sergei Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible.

Due to his identification with Stalin, Gelovani was barred from playing other roles in cinema; he was not allowed to depict "mere mortals." From 1942 to 1948, he was a member of the cast in the Gorky Moscow Art Theatre. During World War II, the personality cult was abandoned in favor of patriotic motifs, but returned already at the war's late stages, and with greater intensity than ever after 1945: Stalin was soon credited as the sole architect of victory. In the postwar films in which he portrayed him - The Vow, The Fall of Berlin and The Unforgettable Year 1919 - Gelovani presented the leader as "a living god."
The actor was awarded three more Stalin Prizes, all of which were granted for his performances of the premier in film: in 1942 for The Defence of Tsaritsyn, in 1947 for The Vow and in 1950 for The Fall of Berlin. On 3 June 1950, he was given the title People's Artist of the USSR.
After Stalin's death in 1953, Gelovani was denied new roles in films, since he was completely identified with the character of the dead ruler. From 1953 until his death in 1956, he acted in Moscow's State Theater for Film Actors. Andreas Kilb wrote that he ended his life "a pitiful Kagemusha" of Stalin. Gelovani is buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery, alongside his wife Ludmila.
Following Nikita Khrushchev's Secret Speech in 1956, most of the pictures he appeared in as Stalin were either banned or had the relevant scenes removed.

This is a clip of the Soviet Propaganda film that was used to help create this cult of personality around Stalin as the patient father figure....despite the gulags, the NKVD terror raids and other things he did to totally subdue Russia.  it was almost a "Stockholm Syndrome". type of effect that he had.

Felix Dadaev (left) in the 1940s and the real Joseph Stalin (right).
Rumors circulated in Russia for decades that Joseph Stalin had a “twin” who replaced him during certain situations. After decades of rumors, finally Stalin’s decoy decided to talk. Felix Dadaev, a former dancer and juggler was ordered to the Kremlin to work as Stalin’s body double. For more than half a century, Dadaev remained silent, fearing a death sentence should he dare to open his mouth. But in 2008, at the age of 88, and with the apparent approval of the Putin regime, he finally came forward to write his autobiography. Dadaev’s autobiography explains that he was one of four men employed to impersonate the supreme leader, taking his place in motorcades, at rallies, on newsreel footage etc.
Dadaev was born in the Caucasian highlands of Dagestan and when his family moved to Grozny, in Chechnya, he began taking ballet lessons. When the Second World War started, he was required to fight and was so badly injured during the Soviet liberation of Grozny in 1942 that his family was told he had been killed. He was one of seven corpses delivered to a hospital, but he and another guy were still alive. Fortunately, he got better, though that “death” was the start of a strange double life. Soon his resemblance to 60-year-old Stalin (which got him teased in school) caught the eye of Soviet intelligence agents, who started using him to save the real Stalin from assassination plots and lame public ceremonies.

Even Stalin’s closest comrades couldn’t spot the imposter.

Just into his 20s, Dadaev was a great deal younger than Stalin, but make-up and the strain of war meant that he could pass as a 60-year-old. “We had all experienced so much suffering that I looked much older than I was”, Dadaev said. Trained at the personal request of Stalin, Dadaev attended rallies and meetings across Soviet Union wearing the leader’s trademark Red Army cap and heavy overcoat encrusted with medals. He watched movies and speeches of Stalin to perfect the mimicry of his movement and intonation. Some say that Dadaev, like other Stalin’s body doubles, was trained by Alexei Diky, an actor who played the role of Stalin in propaganda films.

Felix Dadaev in his military uniform.
In an age before media dominated, he didn’t have to mimic perfectly Stalin’s vocal inflections, just his look and mannerisms. And he pulled it off so well even Stalin’s closest comrades couldn’t spot the imposter. “By the time my make-up and training were complete, I was like him in every way, except perhaps my ears. They were too small”.
Interesting facts:
  • Another Stalin’s body double was a man identified only as “Rashid”. Rashid so closely resembled the dictator that when he joined the army he was dismissed almost immediately. Even his facial scars nearly matched the Soviet leader’s pockmarks from a bout with smallpox. He spent two years studying with Alexei Dikiy. Rashid claimed there were other Stalin lookalikes employed by the NKVD (predecessor of KGB), although he never met any. He claimed to have heard of another Stalin double who was hired to live in the dictator’s dacha outside of Moscow in the late 1940s and 1950s when Stalin was dying. After Stalin’s death in 1953, Rashid moved to a provincial city and shaved off his mustache and gradually became bald. Yet even then the resemblance proved so striking that he often received stares on the street, they were afraid that the dictator had gone into hiding with them.
  • A man who looked so much like Josef Stalin
    that he was hired to sit in for the Soviet dictator
    at meetings and banquets has died in the southern city
    of Krasnodar. He was 93. The newspaper Rabochaya Tribuna
    identified the Stalin double only as Rashid and said without
    explaining further that he died "several days ago."

    Later Rashid made a career as Stalin’s double. Officials
    at the KGB heard of his adventures at the Army recruiting office and
    eventually tracked him down. Rashid spent 2 years studying with Alexei
    Dikiy, an actor who played the role of Stalin in films. But Rashid's role was to
    play Stalin "live," at public functions such as banquets. (Was Dikiy jealous?
    Or too busy playing Stalin in the movies to play him in real life?)
    No mention is made in the obituary of the role Stalin
    played in his hiring, if any, or if Rashid was ever
    allowed to meet or study the man he was to impersonate.
    He may have been taught to impersonate by Stalin’s first impersonator,
    and by images of that impersonator on the silver screen.

    There are also other doubles mentioned in the obituary,
    doubles multiplying into quadruples and more. It’s not
    at all clear what the total number of Stalin’s doubles actually was (were?).
    Rashid never met with any other Stalin lookalikes except Dikiy,
    but he told of another Stalin double who was hired to live
    in the dictator's dacha outside of Moscow in the late 1940s
    and 1950s when Stalin was dying. This double filled in
    for Stalin for media events and other times when Stalin
    had to meet government functionaries and others.
 I was unable to find any photo's of "Rashid"
Perhaps some of the "Official" photo's of Stalin were of him...I don't know.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The cost to renounce citizenship is increasing...and other musings....

   Sorry I havn't posted much the past few days, was real busy and just was a lot I wanted to blog about, but trying to organize my mind to actually get a coherent thought on the blogger was daunting....

There has been an increase of people renouncing their citizenship in the United States, for some people, it is political...for some it is income related.  For some it is a " I havn't been there in 40 years and don't want to go back."   There are some people from work that are talking about selling all they have and moving to Belize or some of the other countries in South America.  Of becoming Expats.
     The reasons from talking to people at work, and remember I work at a place where skilled tradesman are prevalent.  The fears are from the economic uncertainty from the mountains of debt we as a country are ringing up and will have to pay or default.  They are afraid that their saved money for their retirement will be seized by the .gov types to either shore up social security or another pie in the sky scheme to rip off Peter to ensure Paul votes for them. 

  Others also see the coming police state and the comment I hear is " Is this what Germany was like in the 1930's before WWII?"  They point to the militarization of the Police, when you also have EliJah Cummings the congressman from Maryland, the same one that tries to derail the Hearings into the IRS targeting conservative groups.  Imploring the President of the United States Barack Obama...the Same President  that has all the scandals associated with him.  From Fast and Furious, Solyndra,BenGazi, V.A., see the complete list HERE  What the honorable congressman want is a "National Standard on Police" to avoid another Ferguson.  The same time the "AttackWatch" program that the White house is pushing to basically squeal on your neighbor...bet your conservative neighbor gets audited....Nothing like making the Police force answer to a national authority....Isn't that why Department of Homeland Security gets all those nifty MRAPS and other cool paramilitary toys to play with?  The Same DHS that has the cool link with "See something suspicious....Report them.   I am sure Himmler would have approved.   I wonder if down the road if the people reporting their neighbors gets special food coupons as a reward.  I am a student of history and I learned that the East German Stasi basically had one out of 7 East German citizens as "Snitches" on their fellow Germans.

     Those are the biggest reasons people are talking about leaving....The economic and Political.  I would hear about all these hollywood empty suits talk about leaving the United States if So and So happened....but they are still here.  But in Real life, the people in flyover country are leaving. and the government is making it harder....I keep hearing the "Economic Berlin Wall" that the .Gov types are erecting to keep people in or if not people....their assets.  That is all we are to them...is livestock to be milked for our economic worth for them and occasionally slaughtered(SWATTED) to feed them.
      I have toyed with the idea, I want my son to have better opportunities than I have and with the way things are going, he may find it more difficult with "Set Asides".  But that is a hard decision to make.  I remembered something Warner Von Braun had stated and I saw it while we went to the Huntsville Rocketry center....A very cool trip if you are in to stuff like that....and I am:)

    This is the biggest reason I will not be an EXPAT, I will make my stand here in the United States...If she falls, the fall of Western civilization is guaranteed...you know the Western civilization where the individual is prized....whereas other places, it is your group or tribe that decides for you.  You notice that all the stuff that the leftist talk about are "Group rights...Group identities "  stuff that is granted by a government....that is stuff that can be taken away by a government.    The Bill of rights...codifies our individual rights...granted by God, and is our protection against an intrusive government,.

I was surfing through Drudge Report and ran across this article on Forbes

Over the last two years, the U.S. has had a spike in expatriations. It isn’t exactly Ellis Island in reverse, but it’s more than a dribble. With global tax reporting and FATCA, the list of the individuals who renounced is up. For 2013, there was a 221% increase, with record numbers of Americans renouncing. The Treasury Department is required to publish a quarterly list, but these numbers are under-stated, some say considerably.
The presence or absence of tax motivation is no longer relevant, but that could change. After Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin departed for Singapore, Senators Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey introduced a bill to double the exit tax to 30% for anyone leaving the U.S. for tax reasons. That hasn’t happened, but taxes are still a big issue for many.
U.S. flag
U.S. flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
To leave America, you generally must prove 5 years of U.S. tax compliance. If you have a net worth greater than $2 million or average annual net income tax for the 5 previous years of $157,000 or more for 2014 (that’s tax, not income), you pay an exit tax. It is a capital gain tax as if you sold your property when you left. At least there’s an exemption of $680,000 for 2014. Long-term residents giving up a Green Card can be required to pay the tax too.
Now, the State Department interim rule just raised the fee for renunciation of U.S. citizenship to $2,350 from $450. Critics note that it’s more than twenty times the average level in other high-income countries. The State Department says it’s about demand on their services and all the extra workload they have to process people who are on their way out.
The notice says:
1. Consular officers must confirm that the potential renunciant fully understands the consequences of renunciation, including losing the right to reside in the United States without documentation as an alien.
2. Consular officers must verify that the renunciant is a U.S. citizen and they must conduct a minimum of two intensive interviews with the potential renunciant. Consular officers must even review at least three consular systems before administering the oath of renunciation.
3. The final approval of the loss of nationality must be done within the Directorate of Overseas Citizens Services in Washington, D.C. After that, the case is returned to the Consular officer overseas for final delivery of the Certificate of Loss of Nationality to the renunciant.
4. These steps  add to the time and labor be involved in the process. Accordingly, the Department is increasing the fee for processing such requests from $450 to $2,350.
Apparently, dual citizens in Canada trying to shed their U.S. citizenship have created a backlog at the U.S. consulate in Toronto that stretches into the third week of January 2015. A decision to expatriate should never be taken lightly. Taxes or not, it can be a big step. And around the world, more people are talking about taking it.
Contact me at Wood@WoodLLP.com. This discussion is not intended as legal advice, and cannot be relied upon for any purpose without the services of a qualified professional.

Never heard of FATCA? You will. FATCA—the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act—is America’s global tax law. It was quietly enacted in 2010, and after a four-year ramp up, it’s finally in effect. What is most amazing is not its impact on Americans—although that is considerable—but its impact on the world. Yes, the whole world.
Never before has an American tax law attempted such an astounding reach. And it’s clear FATCA has succeeded, after shrewd diplomacy by President Obama and his Treasury Department. (There are probably some congratulatory emails somewhere!)  FATCA requires foreign banks to reveal Americans with accounts over $50,000. Non-compliant institutions could be frozen out of U.S. markets, so everyone is complying.
Here are 10 facts about FATCA:
1FATCA Blew In On a Perfect Storm. FATCA grew out of a controversial rule. America taxes its citizens—and even permanent residents—on their worldwide income regardless of where they live. In 2009, the IRS struck a groundbreaking deal with UBS for $780 million in penalties and American names. Recently, Credit Suisse took a guilty plea and paid a record $2.6 billion fine.
Since then, with over a hundred Swiss banks taking a DOJ deal and many other developments, banking is now more transparent than could ever have been imagined. FATCA was enacted in 2010, when only some of those developments were unfolding. The idea was to cut off companies from access to critical U.S. financial markets if they didn’t pass along American data. And boy did that idea work.
2. Everyone Around the World is Complying. More than 80 nations—including virtually every one that matters—have agreed to the law. So far, over 77,000 financial institutions have signed on too. Countries must throw their agreement behind the law or face dire repercussions. Even tax havens have joined up. The IRS has a searchable list of financial institutions. See FFI List Search and Download Tool and a User Guide. Countries on board are at FATCA – Archive.
3Even Russia and China Agreed to FATCA. If you think money anywhere can escape the IRS, think again. Even notoriously difficult China and Russia are on board. Which is more amazing? Probably Russia. The U.S. and Russia were negotiating a FATCA deal until March, 2014, but Russia’s annexation of Crimea caused the U.S. to suspend talks. That meant Russian financial institutions faced being frozen out of U.S. markets. Russia took last minute action to allow Russian banks to send American taxpayer data to the U.S. when President Vladimir Putin Signed a Law in the 11th Hour to Satisfy U.S. Treasury.
4FATCA is America’s Big Stick. Cleverly, FATCA’s 30% tax and exclusion from U.S. markets would be so catastrophic that everyone has opted to comply. Foreign financial institutions must withhold a 30% tax if the recipient isn’t providing information about U.S. account holders. The choice is simple, and that’s why everyone is complying.
5Everyone is on the Lookout for American Indicia. Foreign Financial Institutions (FFIs) must report account numbers, balances, names, addresses, and U.S. identification numbers. For U.S.-owned foreign entities, they must report the name, address, and U.S. TIN of each substantial U.S. owner. And in what is a kind of global witch hunt, American indicia will likely mean a letter. Don’t ignore it.
6FBARs Are Still Required. FBARs predate FATCA, but get ready for duplicate reporting. FATCA just adds to the burden, including Form 8938, but it doesn’t replace FBARs. The latter have been in the law since 1970 but have taken on huge importance since 2009. U.S. persons with foreign bank accounts exceeding $10,000 must file an FBAR by each June 30.
These forms are serious, and so are the criminal and civil penalties. FBAR failures can mean fines up to $500,000 and prison up to ten years. Even a non-willful civil FBAR penalty can mean a $10,000 fine. Willful FBAR violations can draw the greater of $100,000 or 50% of the account for each violation–and each year is separate. The numbers add up fast. Court Upholds Record FBAR Penalties, Exceeding Offshore Account Balance.
7FATCA is Compelling Compliance. U.S. account holders who aren’t compliant have limited time to get to the IRS. The IRS recently changed its programs, making its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program a little harsher. Yet for those not willing to pay the 27.5% penalty—which rose to 50% August 4, 2014 for some banks—the new IRS’s Streamlined Program may be a good option for those who qualify.
The latter applies now to both foreign and U.S.-based Americans. Some still want to amend their taxes and file FBARs in a “quiet disclosure” which could bring civil FBAR penalties or even prosecution. Thus, caution is clearly in order.
8Banking Will Never Be the Same. FATCA is making banking transparent worldwide. With Swiss bank deals, prosecutions, summonses, and FATCA, the IRS has quicker, better and more complete information than ever.
9Forget Repeal or Dismantling FATCA. Republicans have mounted a lackluster repeal effort, but there’s no serious push to repeal FATCA. At least not one that’s getting traction. (No hate mail please, but honest, repeal now isn’t likely.) Some say FATCA will be like prohibition, lasting for a time but doomed. We’ll see, but it sure doesn’t look that way now.

Still, Canadians recently Filed Suit To Block FATCA And Prohibit Handover Of U.S. Names To IRS. The suit claims the Inter-Governmental Agreement under which Canada can turn over private bank account information  is illegal. The legal claim challenges the constitutionality of the agreement the Canadian government struck with the United States.
10Don’t Count on Other Passports. Some dual nationals or U.S. Green Card holders think they can bypass FATCA—and other U.S. tax rules—by using a non-U.S. passport and non-U.S. address with their foreign bank. Don’t. You may just make it worse, handing the IRS another badge of willfulness. Your bank and the IRS will likely find out eventually, even if not right away.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Marvin the Martian..."Where is the kaboom?..there was supposed to be a Earth shattering Kaboom?"

Well I was going to do a post about our post racial president sending 3 aids to the funeral to the latest saint of ghettoness" Michael of Swisher Sweet".  More then he sent to Margaret Thatcher's funeral.  Although he nearly emptied the white house going to the funeral of Nelson Mandela where the power selfie became viral.  Nothing like reminding the blacks to vote democratic in the next election.  But I didn't have it in me, better bloggers than I have already said what is necessary and I would be a poor addition.
     So instead I will continue with cartoons...Yay!   This is a continuation of what I started with FogHorn Leghorn and Daffy Duck.  Again a wise guy from work used a cartoon on the workstation we use to look for airplane manuals to put up a cartoon.  This week it was "Marvin the martian."

This was the cartoon that started this weeks article.....Bing is a good thing.

Animation director Chuck Jones noted that Bugs Bunny soon began to outwit Yosemite Sam (the creation of the senior director, Friz Freleng), so he decided to create the opposite type of character; one who was quiet and soft-spoken, but whose actions were incredibly destructive and legitimately dangerous. Marvin the Martian made his debut in 1948's Haredevil Hare.
Unlike the other villains, Marvin can be actually evil at most points, and not just daft. However, he is a funny cartoon character like the other villains. Marvin is the quietest of the Warner Bros villains, and the most soft-spoken, and unlike most of the other villains, he is very clever and competent in general.

Marvin's design was based on a conception of the Roman god Mars. "That was the uniform that Mars wore — that helmet and skirt. We thought putting it on this ant-like creature might be funny. But since he had no mouth, we had to convey that he was speaking totally through his movements. It demanded a kind of expressive body mechanics."
Marvin was never named in the original shorts (though he was called the Commander of Flying Saucer X-2 in The Hasty Hare in 1952), but decades later, when the character attracted merchandising interest, the current name was selected.

Marvin hails from the planet Mars, but is often found elsewhere. He is often accompanied by his dog "K-9", and sometimes by other creatures (one gag, first used in Hare-Way to the Stars (1958), being candy-sized "Instant Martians" that become full-size on addition of drops of water).
Marvin wears a Roman soldier's uniform, with basketball shoes. The style of these shoes resembles the Chuck Taylor All-Stars brand name, considered to be the "generic" or "standard" basketball sneaker. His head is a black sphere with only eyes for features. The curved crest of his helmet appears, with the push-broom-like upper section, to comically resemble an ancient Greek hoplite's or a Roman Centurion's helmet. The appearance of the combination of Marvin's head and helmet allegedly led to Bugs Bunny thinking he was a "bowling ball wearing a spittoon" in one Looney Tunes animated short. Marvin speaks with a soft, nasally accent, and often speaks technobabble. The helmet and skirt that surround him are green and his suit is red (in a few of the original shorts, his suit was green). He is also known for his trademark quotes "Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!", "Isn't that lovely?", and "This makes me very angry, very angry indeed."

On numerous occasions, Marvin has tried to destroy the Earth with his "Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator" (sometimes pronounced "Illudium Pu-36" or "Uranium Pu-36"). Marvin always laboriously over-pronounces the name of the device, which resembles a mere stick of dynamite, in order to avoid any possibility of confusing it with some other similar form of explosive technology.Marvin attempts to destroy the Earth because, he reasons, "it obstructs my view of Venus"; he has been trying to destroy the Earth for more than two millennia, suggesting that members of his species, and possibly martian creatures in general, have extremely long lifespans. The original reference to "Uranium Pu-36" changed to "Illudium PU-36" in subsequent cartoons . Marvin is consistently foiled by Bugs Bunny. He has battled for space territory, Planet X, with Daffy Duck, a.k.a. Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century.
     Here is Marvin and Michigan J Frog( I will probably do that one next week)
 Top 25 Marvin the Martian moments.
Marvin's likeness appears in miniature on the Spirit rover on Mars as well as on the mission launch patch

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Music "What about me" from Moving Pictures

I was going to go with Buggaloo's "Video killed a radio star" but this song came on while I was at work and I decided to go with this one.  It isn't as well known as the other song who's rotation on MTV made it a cult classic.   I remembered hearing this song in the early 80's then it kinda disappeared.  I then heard it on XM radio and it took a while before my "free music downloads" found the song and I downloaded it on my phone.  It is kinda haunting song and it is a bit sad.  it to me talks about people being ignored by everybody else.  This resonates with me a bit for I was a bit of a social pariah in school.  I was one of those kids that were ignored by the "beautiful people."  For this reason I don't go to my high school reunions.  My 30th reunion is coming up.  I did go to one....it was my 20 reunion...and the only people that were there were the "beautiful people"...the cheerleaders and jocks.  I was with the JROTC crowd back then and most of the people that I hung around with while I was in high school were out serving our country.
     I went to my 20th  reunion back in 2004 and the old cliques formed up again and I started getting sneered at by some of the people....Well it has been 20 years since high school...My outlook is much different now then it was back then.  I immediately told the individual who was being a jerk" Look sport..this ain't high school anymore...I will just beat your ass in front of your friends and call it a day...Now you decide how you want to roll."  he started making noise about some of his buddies backing him.  I dismissed them as "chickenshits and cowards" and they will vanish once the rubber meets the road.
     Well they slinked away.  I did leave shortly afterwords..The experience left a bad taste in my mouth.  ..I had nothing in common with those people.   My wife knew that I was disturbed afterwards and I told her that I was sorry for going and wasting the money buying the ticket and the meal.  My wife didn't go, our son was a year old and she didn't want to leave him alone.  I am glad she didn't go with me, it would have pissed her off to see the jerks in action.  The people that I really cared about, I still keep in touch after high school.  I am now getting reminders about the 30th reunion....I will pass, some memories are best left buried.

Days of Innocence is the debut album released by Australian band Moving Pictures in 1981. It spent 7 weeks at the top of the Australian Album charts in 1982. It spawned the 1982 number one single in Australia "What About Me".
The original 1981 version of the album was the fourth most popular album of the year in the band's native Australia, after Men at Work's Business as Usual, The Human League's Dare, and the soundtrack to Chariots of Fire. The collection features their biggest hit, "What About Me", which was the second biggest hit of 1982 in Australia, after Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger". Moving Pictures' hit won 'Best Single' at the 1982 Countdown Music Awards. In the U.S., "What About Me" was a top 30 hit during its lengthy first Hot 100 chart run in 1982, and narrowly missed hitting the top 40 a second time upon its re-release in 1989. A greatest hits album by the band is based entirely on Days of Innocence, plus new songs by Moving Pictures.

"What About Me" is a song written by Garry Frost and Frances Swan, first recorded by Australian rock band Moving Pictures from their album Days of Innocence. It was the band's first number-one single in Australia spending six consecutive weeks on the top; there, it was the second-highest selling single of 1982.
The success of the song led them to America where it became a hit, reaching #29 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song stayed in the U.S. charts for such a long time that it managed to make Billboard's top 100 Pop Singles of 1983, at #88, a rare feat for a single with such a low peak position. The song made an unusual comeback in 1989, peaking at #46.

 Frost wrote the song when he was working with autistic children in his day job. He had gone out to get lunch at his local shop in the Sydney suburb of Asquith and saw a small boy not being noticed waiting at the counter. He was sufficiently moved by the vision to write the song. The song was rarely played live by the band; when it was, it was played in a modern country style. It would never have been recorded but their debut album's producer Charles Fisher heard Frost and Smith tinkling with the tune on the studio piano during a break in recording. Fisher suggested that Moving Pictures record the song. It was initially released as a single in January 1982. It debuted on the charts during February and five weeks later reached #1, where it remained for six weeks, going on to become the second biggest selling single in Australia for 1982 (behind Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger") and went on to win the "Best Single" award at the 1982 Countdown Music Awards. "What About Me?" was released in the United States later in September 1982, reaching #29 and spending 26 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. Because of its longevity on the Hot 100, the song was able to end up on the year-end chart at #88 in the U.S. It was re-released in the U.S. market in 1989 by Geffen Records, climbing to #46 at its second attempt.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Difference between AR-15 and AK 47....and Nagants

I saw a video while I was surfing YouTube.  I saw the difference between the M-16, and the AK 47.  It was a very educational video.  I have fired both kinds and still own one of them.  I was trained on the M-16 pattern rifle, I am very comfortable with that platform.  I know it's strength, I know its weaknesses. 
Here is the latest incarnation of this rifle.  Like I said, I love the versatility of this rifle.  This rifle has gone through 3 changes since I bought it back in 1991.  I still am considering buying a shorty stock and a shorty barrel.  My Brother who is used to the M-4 platform calls my rifle "A Musket"  due to the length. 
   This is my same rifle that had the same style for 15 years.  Tactically not such a good configuration.  I had changed the barrel to an A-2 barrel with the same style handgrips, pistol grips and rear stock.
This is the rifle back in original configuration that I bought it back in 1991.  I had kept all the old parts when I upgraded.

I have also owned an AK-47 type rifle for several years back in the mid 90's.  But I had to sell it to pay some bills.  I hated doing it, and basically I had to choose which rifle I had to give up.  I liked the rifle, I liked the reliability and the ease of use of the AK-47 pattern rifle, it is an easy rifle to shoot and operate. 
I also own a Mosin Nagant, I bought this rifle back in the late 90's.  This rifle was made in the Soviet Armory in the Urals, when the Germans invaded, the Soviets moved whole industries across the urals to protect it against the fascisti invaders.   This rifle is classified as a model 31/59
  This rifle Model 1891/59 Carbine: Commonly called "91/59s," the M1891/59s were created by shortening M1891/30 rifles to carbine length, with rear sight numbers partially ground off to reflect reduced range. These rifles are almost clones of the M38 except for the ground off M91/30 rear sight. The "1891/59" marking on the receiver suggests the carbines were created in or after 1959. It was initially thought that Bulgaria or another Soviet satellite country performed the conversions in preparation for a Western invasion that never came. Recent evidence suggests that the M91/59 was indeed produced in Bulgaria from Soviet-supplied wartime production M91/30s. Total production of the 91/59 is uncertain; figures as low as one million and as high as three million have appeared in the firearms magazines.
   A lot of people disparage the Mosin type rifles as " Old.......obsolete...can't survive against a modern assault rifle.."  I disagree, this rifle will work when all other will not.  Also the 7.62X54R round is no slouch,  It will flat out knock down anybody it hits.  Also the recoil is rough compared to the AR pattern and AK pattern rifles.   Another reason for the rifle is you could rearm your tribe with a few Nagants for extra rifles until newer rifles are acquired.  Then you can put the rifles back in storage until the next time.

This is the video I saw that started this post.....so there:P.....
I remembered posting this when I first started blogging.
AK vs. AR vs. Mosin Nagant
Written by Head of the old Headsbunker.com, also known as "Ezra Coli" on the various message boards.
There's an ever present, unending debate over which is best, ARs or AKs, raging across the internet and in gun shops every day sending bile and bitter insults spewing both ways. This debate has turned fathers against sons, best friends against one another, and........well you get the point. The author is of the opinion that there are of course pros and cons to each family of rifle, and I refuse to engage in what is "best". As one who loves them all, especially the AK and AR series, I thought I'd pass on some of the knowledge I have gained over the years concerning these wildly different weapons. As a bonus, I'll toss in my knowledge of another favorite family of weapons at the Bunker, just because they are very popular these days and I often ramble about them. So, here, for the aid of those hammering one another in the debate, is some unbiased, non-slanted, untainted raw knowledge about the AK, the AR, and the Mosin Nagant.

Stuff you know if you have an AK Stuff you know if you have an AR Stuff you know if you have a Mosin Nagant
It works though you have never cleaned it. Ever. You have $9 per ounce special non-detergent synthetic Teflon infused oil for cleaning. It was last cleaned in Berlin in 1945.
You are able to hit the broad side of a barn from inside. You are able to hit the broad side of a barn from 600 meters. You can hit the farm from two counties over.
Cheap mags are fun to buy. Cheap mags melt. What's a mag?
Your safety can be heard from 300 meters away. You can silently flip off the safety with your finger on the trigger. What's a safety?
Your rifle comes with a cheap nylon sling. Your rifle has a 9 point stealth tactical suspension system. You rifle has dog collars.
Your bayonet makes a good wire cutter. Your bayonet is actually a pretty good steak knife. Your bayonet is longer than your leg.
You can put a .30" hole through 12" of oak, if you can hit it. You can put one hole in a paper target at 100 meters with 30 rounds. You can knock down everyone else's target with the shock wave of your bullet going downrange.
When out of ammo your rifle will nominally pass as a club. When out of ammo, your rifle makes a great wiffle bat. When out of ammo, your rifle makes a supreme war club, pike, boat oar, tent pole, or firewood.
Recoil is manageable, even fun. What's recoil? Recoil is often used to relocate shoulders thrown out by the previous shot.
Your sight adjustment goes to "10", and you've never bothered moving it. Your sight adjustment is incremented in fractions of minute of angle. Your sight adjustment goes to 12 miles and you've actually tried it.
Your rifle can be used by any two bit nation's most illiterate conscripts to fight elite forces worldwide. Your rifle is used by elite forces worldwide to fight two bit nations' most illiterate conscripts. Your rifle has fought against itself and won every time.
Your rifle won some revolutions. Your rifle won the Cold War. Your rifle won a pole vault event.
You paid $350. You paid $900. You paid $59.95.
You buy cheap ammo by the case. You lovingly reload precision crafted rounds one by one. You dig your ammo out of a farmer's field in Ukraine and it works just fine.
You can intimidate your foe with the bayonet mounted. You foes laugh when you mount your bayonet. You can bayonet your foe on the other side of the river without leaving the comfort of your hole.
Service life, 50 years. Service life, 40 years. Service life, 100 years, and counting.
It's easier to buy a new rifle when you want to change cartridge sizes. You can change cartridge sizes with the push of a couple of pins and a new upper. You believe no real man would dare risk the ridicule of his friends by suggesting there is anything but 7.62x54r.
You can repair your rifle with a big hammer and a swift kick. You can repair your rifle by taking it to a certified gunsmith, it's under warranty! If your rifle breaks, you buy a new one.
You consider it a badge of honor when you get your handguards to burst into flames. You consider it a badge of honor when you shoot a sub-MOA 5 shot group. You consider it a badge of honor when you cycle 5 rounds without the aid of a 2x4.
After a long day the range you relax by watching "Red Dawn". After a long day at the range you relax by watching "Blackhawk Down". After a long day at the range you relax by visiting the chiropractor.
After cleaning your rifle you have a strong urge for a stiff shot of Vodka. After cleaning your rifle you have a strong urge for hotdogs and apple pie. After cleaning your rifle you have a strong urge for shishkabob.
You can accessorize you rifle with a new muzzle brake or a nice stock set. Your rifle's accessories are eight times more valuable than your rifle. Your rifle's accessory is a small tin can with a funny lid, but it's buried under an apartment building somewhere in Budapest.
Your rifle's finish is varnish and paint. Your rifle's finish is Teflon and high tech polymers. Your rifle's finish is low grade shellac, cosmoline and Olga's toe nails.
Your wife tolerates your autographed framed picture of Mikhail Kalashnikov. Your wife tolerates your autographed framed picture of Eugene Stoner. You're not sure there WERE cameras to photograph Sergei Mosin.
Late at night you sometimes have to fight the urge to hold your rifle over your head and shout "Wolverines!" Late at night you sometimes have to fight the urge to clear your house, slicing the pie from room to room. Late at night, you sometimes have to fight the urge to dig a fighting trench in the the yard to sleep in.
There you have it.  In the end, it is clear to any open minded inquirer that the Mosin Nagant is the most superior weapon of all time, but the AR and the AK come out as a draw when compared side by side.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Daffy Duck....."You are Dispicable"........

Somebody at work has a sense of humor, the desktop computer we use at work to look up manuals and other things , the desktop changes.  it went from Foghorn Leghorn to Daffy Duck,  So I did some background on it. so I figured I would post about it.

This is the picture that got this post going.....I have such a wide variety of subject matter on my blog...from the Obama sux stuff, the 2nd amendment stuff, the aviation stuff...and of course...Cartoons!   I love cartoons, Some things you don't outgrow...

Daffy first appeared in Porky's Duck Hunt, released on April 17, 1937. The cartoon was directed by Tex Avery and animated by Bob Clampett. Porky's Duck Hunt is a standard hunter/prey pairing for which Leon Schlesinger's studio was famous, but Daffy (barely more than an unnamed bit player in this short) was something new to moviegoers: an assertive, completely unrestrained, combative protagonist. Clampett later recalled:
"At that time, audiences weren't accustomed to seeing a cartoon character do these things. And so, when it hit the theaters it was an explosion. People would leave the theaters talking about this daffy duck."
" Early Daffy Duck and the modern version we know.."
This early Daffy is less anthropomorphic and resembles a "normal" black duck. In fact, the only aspects of the character that have remained consistent through the years are his voice characterization by Mel Blanc and his black feathers with a white neck ring. Blanc's characterization of Daffy holds the world record for the longest characterization of one animated character by his or her original actor: 52 years.
The origin of Daffy's voice is a matter of some debate. One often-repeated "official" story is that it was modeled after producer Leon Schlesinger's tendency to lisp. However, in Mel Blanc's autobiography, That's Not All Folks!, he contradicts that conventional belief, writing, "It seemed to me that such an extended mandible would hinder his speech, particularly on words containing an s sound. Thus 'despicable' became 'desthpicable.'"
Daffy's slobbery, exaggerated lisp was developed over time, and it is barely noticeable in the early cartoons. In Daffy Duck & Egghead, Daffy does not lisp at all except in the separately drawn set-piece of Daffy singing "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" in which just a slight lisp can be heard.
In The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950), Daffy has a middle name, Dumas as the writer of a swashbuckling script, a nod to Alexandre Dumas. Also, in the Baby Looney Tunes episode "The Tattletale", Granny addresses Daffy as "Daffy Horatio Tiberius Duck". In The Looney Tunes Show (2011), the joke middle names "Armando" and "Sheldon" are used.

ex Avery created the original version of Daffy in 1937. Daffy established his status by jumping into the water, hopping around, and yelling, "Woo-hoo! Woo-hoo! Woo-hoo! Hoo-hoo! Woo-hoo!" Animator Bob Clampett immediately seized upon the Daffy Duck character and cast him in a series of cartoons in the 1930s and 1940s. The early Daffy is a wild and zany screwball, perpetually bouncing around the screen with cries of "Hoo-hoo! Hoo-hoo!" (In his autobiography, Mel Blanc stated that the zany demeanor was inspired by Hugh Herbert's catchphrase, which was taken to a wild extreme for Daffy.) Clampett physically redesigned the character, making him taller and lankier and rounding out his feet and bill. He was often paired with Porky Pig.

While Daffy's looney days were over, McKimson continued to make him as bad or good as his various roles required him to be. McKimson would use this Daffy from 1946 to 1961. Friz Freleng's version took a hint from Chuck Jones to make the duck more sympathetic, as in the 1957 Show Biz Bugs. Here Daffy is arrogant and jealous of Bugs, yet he has real talent that is ignored by the theatre manager and the crowd. This cartoon finishes with a sequence in which Daffy attempts to wow the Bugs-besotted audience with an act in which he drinks gasoline and swallows nitroglycerine, gunpowder, and uranium-238 (in a greenish solution), jumps up and down to "shake well" and finally swallows a lit match that detonates the whole improbable mixture. Some TV stations, and in the 1990s the cable network TNT, edited out the dangerous act, afraid of imitation by young kids.

 While Bugs Bunny became Warner Bros.' most popular character, the directors still found ample use for Daffy. Several cartoons place him in parodies of popular movies and radio serials. For example, Drip-Along Daffy (released in 1951 and named after the popular Hopalong Cassidy character) throws Daffy into a Western, while Robin Hood Daffy (1958) casts the duck in the role of the legendary outlaw Robin Hood. In Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century (1953), a parody of Buck Rogers, Daffy trades barbs (and bullets) with Marvin the Martian, with Porky Pig retaining the role of Daffy's sidekick. Other parodies were Daffy in The Great Piggy Bank Robbery (1946) as "Duck Twacy" (Dick Tracy) by Bob Clampett and as Stupor Duck (Superman, now a WB property himself) by Robert McKimson.

 One of my favorite roles for Daffy Duck...

Bugs' ascension to stardom also prompted the Warner Bros. animators to recast Daffy as the rabbit's rival, intensely jealous and determined to steal back the spotlight, while Bugs either remained indifferent to the duck's jealousy or used it to his advantage. Daffy's desire to achieve stardom at any cost was explored as early as 1940 in Freleng's You Ought to Be in Pictures, but the idea was most successfully used by Chuck Jones, who redesigned the duck once again, making him scrawnier and scruffier. In Jones' famous "Hunting Trilogy" (or "Duck Season/Rabbit Season Trilogy") of Rabbit Fire with Rabbit Seasoning and Duck! Rabbit, Duck! (each respectively launched in 1951, 1952, and 1953), Daffy's vanity and excitedness provide Bugs Bunny the perfect opportunity to fool the hapless Elmer Fudd into repeatedly shooting the duck's bill off. Also, these cartoons reveal Daffy's catchphrase, "You're despicable!" Jones' Daffy sees himself as self-preservationist, not selfish. However, this Daffy can do nothing that does not backfire on him, more likely to singe his tail feathers as well as his dignity than anything. It’s thought that Chuck Jones based Daffy Duck’s new personality off of his fellow animator Bob Clampett, who, like Daffy, was known as a shameless self-promoter.

Film critic Steve Schneider calls Jones' version of Daffy "a kind of unleashed id." Jones said that his version of the character "expresses all of the things we're afraid to express." This is evident in Jones' Duck Amuck (1953), "one of the few unarguable masterpieces of American animation" according to Schneider. In the episode, Daffy is plagued by a godlike animator whose malicious paintbrush alters the setting, soundtrack, and even Daffy. When Daffy demands to know who is responsible for the changes, the camera pulls back to reveal none other than Bugs Bunny. Duck Amuck is widely heralded as a classic of filmmaking for its illustration that a character's personality can be recognized independently of appearance, setting, voice, and plot. In 1999, the short was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

Daffy appeared in later cartoons. He was one of many Looney Tunes characters licensed by Warner Bros. to appear in the 1988 Disney/Amblin film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. In the film, Daffy (utilizing his original, wacky characterization) shares a scene with his Disney counterpart and rival Donald Duck whilst engaged in a piano duel

In 1987, to celebrate Daffy's 50th anniversary, Warner Bros. released "The Duxorcist" as its first theatrical Looney Tunes short in two decades.  

Daffy Duck also appeared in several feature-film compilations, including two films centering on Daffy. The first was released in 1983, Daffy Duck's Fantastic Island; the second came in 1988, Daffy Duck's Quackbusters, which is considered one of the Looney Tunes' best compilation films and featured another new theatrical short, "The Night of the Living Duck". Daffy has also had major roles in films such as Space Jam in 1996 and Looney Tunes: Back in Action in 2003. The latter film does much to flesh out his character, even going so far as to cast a sympathetic light on Daffy's glory-seeking ways in one scene, where he complains that he works tirelessly without achieving what Bugs does without even trying. That same year, Warner Bros. cast him in a brand-new Duck Dodgers series. (It should be stressed that in this show, Duck Dodgers actually is Daffy Duck due to him being frozen in suspended animation in some unknown incident.) He had a cameo appearance in the Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries episode "When Granny Ruled the Earth", first airing on March 27, 1999. Daffy has also been featured in several webtoons, which can be viewed online.

      Daffy has also been used to describe Mommar Quadaffey, the defunct dead Libyan leader