D. R. Casselman Pens Epic Fantasy Adventure

road-to-andolan-front-with-butler-kudoA new author, D. R. Casselman, has burst on to the scene with an epic fantasy adventure requiring four volumes to tell. The series is Tales of Narda and the first installment is Book One: Road to Andolan.

This will not be a lengthy review, as I do not wish to publish any spoilers.

Suffice to say, in this first book there is ample action and adventure, coupled with a bit of mystery and the hint of a pending love story.

There are characters that you will love and some you will most likely despise as the main characters make their way to the land of Narda and, upon arrival, begin their quest to find three of the five missing Seeing Stones, about which you will discover more when you grab the book and start reading.

There are also a range of unusual creatures, some good, some bad, which seems only fair.

You will be taken to a whole new world to thoroughly enjoy.

Dragon Award-winning author D. J. Butler, said of this first book, “A strong start to a new series! The Tales of Narda are classical fantasy that will reawaken in you the same thrills you felt when you first encountered Tolkien’s Middle-Earth.”

And, I certainly agree with him, as I recall first reading The Hobbitt and The Lord of the Rings more years ago than I care to remember. Narda is a rich and imaginative world within your grasp. Do yourself a favor and visit the Tales of Narda website. Aside from being able to order the book, you can download some great free wallpaper.

I do have to note that the official publication date for Road to Andolan is October 20, 2020, the 65th anniversary of The Return of the King.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Are Mandatory Vaccines Unconstitutional?

While there are millions of Patriotic Americans who believe that it is their constitutional right to refuse vaccinations, based on religious or personal beliefs, or simply their right to decide for themselves, there are those who are trying to force-feed vaccinations down our throats, making them mandatory.

And these Vaccinators wish to penalize those who do not toe the line.

One such person is Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz who has shown his true colors. He is obviously not for We the People, although he couches his comments in a way to make it seem that is the case…because it is being done for our ‘safety.’

Dershowitz, a liberal, said, “Let me put it very clearly, you have no constitutional right to endanger the public and spread disease, even if you disagree. You have no right not to be vaccinated, you have no right not to wear a mask, you have no right to open up your business.”

He doubled down by saying, “And if you refuse to be vaccinated, the state has the power to literally take you to a doctor’s office and plunge a needle into your arm.”

I am not an attorney, as is Dershowitz.

US Constitution FlagNevertheless, I have read our U.S. Constitution several times, as well as the Federalist papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers, along with some biographies of several Founders, including that of my 1st cousin (6x removed), Patrick Henry.

In terms of trust, I would much rather listen to those who established our country, our Founders.

Here is what two of my favorite Founders (I have lots of favorites) had to say that seem applicable:

Thomas Jefferson, principal author of our Declaration of Independence and our third president, stated, “The policy of American government is to leave its citizens free, neither restraining them nor aiding them in their pursuits.”

Founders - Constitutional ConventionIt doesn’t sound like Jefferson would endorse government-mandated vaccinations.

Sons of Liberty founder Samuel Adams declared, “The Legislative has no right to absolute, arbitrary power over the lives and fortunes of the people.”

Mandatory vaccination is “absolute, arbitrary power,” something Adams would oppose.

Thus, it would seem our Founders would not approve of such an over-reach of government and, it is my opinion, they would deem such action unconstitutional.

However, Dershowitz was clever. He couched his comments in terms of a mandate by ‘the people.’

KN95 Covid-19 face maskHe further said, “That’s what a democracy is about. If the majority of the people agree and support that, for public health measures, you have to be vaccinated, you have to be vaccinated. They should give you an alternative. The alternative is to live in your home, don’t get vaccinated, but never ever leave your home or live in a bubble. But if you want to interact with other people, you cannot become Typhoid Mary. The Constitution doesn’t give you the right to spread your illness to other people.”

Here he makes the case that if the ‘majority of the people’ decide this, we must do it, though I must point out to the professor that we are a Republic, not a Democracy.

But I digress.

How would that majority agreement be accomplished? How and why would Americans agree to throw away any of our rights?

FearPanic. Fear. Safety.

The mass media sent our nation (and the world) into absolute panic mode over a Covid-19 virus that appears to have substantially less killing power than its several predecessors, scaring millions of people in the process, setting the stage for Vacinnators to play on that fear to suppress the freedom and liberty of all Americans.

Keep in mind that over 400,000 people gathered to celebrate music at Woodstock during the middle of the Hong Kong Flu pandemic, in August 1969. That worldwide pandemic, which started in July 1968 and went through to early 1970, killed an estimated one to four million people, including between 30,000 and 100,000 Americans (depending upon whose numbers you look at) while it infected somewhere between 11% and 21% of the entire global population.

WoodstockI can honestly state that I have no recollection of mass hysteria over the Hong Kong Flu during that time. I had graduated high school in June 1969, and started college that Fall…life as usual. No masks. Businesses were not forced to close. Certainly there was no social distancing.

As Americans we must remember that our Founders fought for our Freedom, our Rights, our Liberty.

And how do we protect our hard-won Liberty?

Leave it to cousin Patrick Henry, who said, “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.”

Flag - Benjamin Franklin - Patrick HenryAnd what about Benjamin Franklin, who is called the First American?

Dershowitz, and other like-minded Vaccinators, cry “safety, safety, safety!”

Franklin rebukes this beautifully, saying, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

And, that is all it could possibly be, ‘a little temporary safety.’

History holds that proof. Pandemics come and go. Some worse than others. No doubt there will be more.

Do not let the Vaccinators, those spreading fear via the mass media, scare you into believing that mandatory vaccines must be done for our ‘safety.’

I am sorry, but that is part of an agenda.

On the other hand, if they want to make it mandatory that everyone be educated on the wonders of keeping our immune system healthy and strong in order to avoid the possibility of contacting a viral disease, I’d probably be all for that one.

As long as I knew that someone, somewhere, was not profiting from that.

Over For Now.

Main Street One.

An Important Message About the Far Left and Far Right and the Media

With all that is going on in America today, far left vs far right, it might do pretty much everyone good if they took just five minutes out of their day and watched this video.  This young lady has some great words to share.  And it would be great if everyone listened.


Over For Now.

Main Street One

When A Tomatometer Must Be Broken

I am not sure how it happened that Rotten Tomatoes and their Tomatometer became a standard that anyone would use, much less any of the major entertainment services.  I went through the trouble a couple of months ago to list on a spreadsheet over 250 movies that I own and gave each of them their corresponding Tomato score and compared that to three other readily available services:  Amazon review ratings and VuDu and Flixster customer scores.  What I found was quite interesting.

As a note, Rotten Tomatoes rates from 0-100%, as does Flixster.  Amazon and VuDu rate on a scale of 1-5/0-5, which makes equating that to percentages quite easy, i.e., a 4.1 average score is 82%, a 2.6 is 52% and so on.  Further, I place slightly less stock in Amazon reviews because there are many reviewers who are rating the packaging or extras included (sometimes even the seller), as opposed to just rating the movie.  So, unfortunately, that type of reviewing drags the score for a movie down.

If the percentage rating were compared to school (back when I attended), then anything 90%-plus would be an A, in the 80s a B, 70s a C, 60s a D and below that an F.  According to Rotten Tomatoes, whose reviews are “based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics,” anything 59% or less is considered Rotten.  I suppose that makes sense as a rating of 3 on Amazon, meaning “It’s okay,” would equate to 60%, just slightly above Rotten.

Now for the comparison.

Of my 16 highest Tomato-rated movies only six of them rate similarly high with the other three consumer services.  Tomatoes seem over-exuberant on several flicks.

Raiders of the Lost Ark original release poster by Richard Amsel. ™ & © 1981 Lucasfilm Ltd.

An example of similar ratings on the four services:  Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc scored a 95% on the Tomato Meter (from here on = TM), 96% on Flixster (Flix), 94% on Amazon (Amz) and 92% on Vudu.  Similarly, Lord of the Rings The Two Towers scored 96% TM, 95% Flix, 94% VuDu and 90% Amz.  But again, only 6 of my top 16 movies were similar like this.  The other 10 had fairly wide discrepancies.

For what appear to be over-rated movies here are a couple of examples: Mud rated a 98% TM, while only an 80% Flix, 78% Amz and 76% VuDu while Gravity earned a 97% TM, but only 80% Flix, 78% Vudu and 70% Amz.  IMHO those are quite different scores with a 97 and 98 really meaning near-perfect.

For the most part, my movies with a TM in the 80s seemed to be pretty consistent with the other three services.  As scores get lower and lower on the TM, I find myself wondering what their critics are watching.

There were a couple of sports movies I thought were quite really good, as did other viewers.  Remember the Titans only earned a 73% TM but a mighty 93% Flix, 92% Amz and 90% Vudu.  Likewise, Coach Carter garnered a lackluster 65% TM but earned quite healthy 90% Amz, 85% Flix and 84% VuDu.  Glad I did not look at what the Tomato had to say about those two.

Top Gun
Film poster for Top Gun (film) – Copyright 1986, Paramount Pictures

Here are the results of a few high-action movies I loved:  Taken 1 scored a wimpy 58% TM (remember, Rotten) but 86% Amz & Vudu and 83% Flix, while Top Gun managed a paltry 54% TM (yep, Rotten), yet 86% Amz & VuDu and 83% Flix.  Then there is this one:  The Expendables 3 Unrated earned a whopping 33% TM (way Rotten) but came in at a sound 84% VuDu, 82% Flix and 80% Amz.

Probably the worst variance I found within all of the movies I own was Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters Unrated.  This flick managed an incredibly low 15% TM while snagging an 80% Flix, 78% VuDu and 74% Amz.

When I tallied scores for all 250-plus movies that I own, the range of difference is pretty large.  The average TM for all my movies is 61%, while VuDu is 83%, Amz 82% and Flix 70%.  The critic’s scores at Tomato (61%) means that, on average,  all of my 250-plus movies are only 2% above Rotten.  (Sob!)  (Not!)

National Treasure Book of Secrets
Film poster for National Treasure: Book of Secrets – Copyright 2007, Walt Disney Pictures

Additionally, there were far too many movies I seriously enjoyed that scored less than 40% on the TM scale (while mostly landing in the 60s-80s range for the other three services).  Examples: Armageddon, Basic, DaVinci Code, King Arthur (2004), Kingdom of Heaven, Man on Fire, National Treasure 2 Book of Secrets, The Phantom of the Opera (2004), Swordfish and Transformers 2 Revenge of the Fallen. 

For whatever reason, the critics (TM) and the people (Amz, Flix, VuDu) disagree.

I believe that I side with the people.

Over For Now.

Main Street One