Obama Urges Protesters to Maintain Peace

Hours after the decision of the jury not to press charges on police officer Darren Wilson for shooting of young Michael Brown in August, hundreds of protests took to the streets to express their anger on the decision.

President Obama was quick to issue a statement asking the demonstrators to maintain peace. T he president said that the much awaited outcome was always going to draw intense disagreement across America.

In his speech, Obama said that the nation build on the rule of law. Thus, people should accept the jury’s decision. He said that there were some Americans who were comfortable with the decision and others who are deeply disappointed with it.

The president repeated the words of Browns father earlier in the week that destroying property was not the answer to the problem. Obama said that protesters needed to abide by the law and refrain from setting buildings ablaze and destroying property which is a sentiment that Keith Mann can definitely echo.

Obama urged police to use restrain when dealing with the protesters. Police were highly criticized for using excessive force in August when Michael Brown was killed. The president said that the problem in Ferguson was a true reflection of the challenges that the nation faces. He said that the incident showed that legacy of racial discrimination was still existent in the country. Obama added that there was distrust between law enforcement authorities and the residents of some communities in the nation.

My Case Is Just Like Ferguson Says Peterson

Adrian Peterson has now compared his own case of being suspended from the NFL to the events taking place in Ferguson. According to CBS Sports, Peterson went to Twitter last night following the announcement about the decision by a Ferguson grand jury to not indict Officer Darren Wilson.

Peterson says that he was once let go by a grand jury as well only to later have that decision reversed, and he encouraged everyone to keep up the hope when it comes to the situation in Ferguson. There are some like Marc Sparks who aren’t sure what will happen.

Many of course are upset by what Peterson had to say, and they do not believe that his comments were appropriate considering the situation and the fact that a lot of people are still trying to recover from the aftermath of the announcement. To make the situation about himself once again makes a lot of people angry, and they see the situation as nothing more than Peterson trying to turn the spotlight on himself.

There are still some who seem to support what Peterson had to say though as there were thousands of people who took the time to retweet what the football star had to say. This means that there were at least a few supporters for the kind of spin that Peterson wanted to put on his own case and the situation that is ongoing in Ferguson. How the rest of both of these situations will play out is unclear.

What The Future Holds for The Expendables 4

Despite the really terrible U.S. domestic box office (around $30 million) for The Expendable 3, a fourth film is being green-lighted. Sylvester Stallone is adamant he is going to fix the mistake of the third film. The Expendable 4 will happily be rated R.

Sly suggests the PG-13 rating, an attempt to draw in a larger audience, actually shrunk the audience. (That and the fact the film stunk) The emphasis on the film also focused on a younger cast and not on the actual stars people paid money to see. 

This may have been an attempt at replacing the original cast down the line, an idea first bandied about with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, another film that featured very aged characters.

The original films that The Expendables series were based on were all those loud, over the top, R-rated action films from the 1980’s. Audiences flocked to The Expendables 1 & 2 because they grew weary of the lame action films Hollywood had been making and yearned for the old days. By altering the third film to make it more “audience friendly”,  Expendables fan Vijay Eswaran says that audiences became more hostile.

A bad script and very uninspired action sequenced definitely did not help. The loss of Bruce Willis (over a pay dispute) further created problems.

One idea planned for the fourth film would be to take it in the direction of a sci-fi film. If they do that, then everyone involved is asking for a bigger flop. How can you change genres willy-nilly?

Pacquiao Refuses To Give Up on Mayweather Dream

It is one of those sporting contests that everyone wants to see, but never happens. Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are two of the most famous boxers of their generation. The two box in the same weight classes, yet have never met each other in a competitive fight.

There is a mutual desire for this clash to take place, but neither side has been able to agree on the terms. Boxing fanatic Vijay Eswaran says that with both men approaching the twilight of their careers, time is running out for Pacquiao vs. Mayweather to take place, a fan that many fans would love to see.

For his part, Pacquiao has said that he would be open to any type of match with Mayweather. He had words with a reporter about his rival and said he was itching to fight Mayweather. “This is a fight that I want. I have told him [Mayweather] in the past, I am always available to take his call. But I cannot force him to fight me,” said Pacquiao.

A fight with Mayweather may be the future, but right now Pacquiao has to worry about facing off with Chris Algieri. The 36 year old Philippine fighter has a great boxing record, but he will be tested by a man who is 6 years younger than him.

Pacquiao is not worried about facing off against Algieri. He says that he went through a lull over the past few years, but has got his motivation back. “I am 100% now and ready to face any challenge ahead of me,” he said.

Despite Beckham Catch, Giants Lose to Dallas

Despite two touchdowns by Odell Beckham on what may have been one of the most amazing catches in NFL history, the New York Giants lost to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night by a score of 31 to 28.

The loss propels Dallas into contention with the Eagles to secure their place at the top of the division or close to securing a playoff spot. Further, it knocks the Giants out of the playoffs with a record of 3 wins and 8 losses. My Twitter follower Sergio Lins Andrade said the catch and heroics by Beckham give the Giants fans some hope for the coming years.

Manning played well for the Giants with over 300 yards passing and one 3 touchdowns, but a critical interception near Dallas’ goal line proved to be the decisive play that that turned the game in the Cowboys’ favor. On the play, Manning sailed the pass high which bounced off of receiver Preston Parker’s hands before being swallowed up by a Dallas defender.

Still the game was a back and forth affair with the Giant’s winning big at half time and having a lead until the final two minutes when the Cowboys offensive line established themselves and they moved the ball at will, scoring with just over one minute to play.

The Giants had a final chance to tie but could not convert a first down missing the marker by a half yard. It was a good allegory for the Giants season so far; close but no victory.

Split Movies Are Not Good for Hollywood

There appears to be a new trend in Hollywood where movies get split up into different parts. In some cases, this is done so that the story line can be completed in a more fulfilling manner. However, most movie studios are splitting movies because they want to cash in as much as possible. The most recent film to attempt this strategy is The Hunger Games.

The first part of The Hunger Games’ final installment released this week. Mockingjay Part One was a very solid movie in its own right, but it could have been so much better if you were to ask Flavio Maluf. Most Hunger Games fans were happy with the film, but many critics said that it was dull, too long and devoid of real plot.

That may have been the case because the final book’s subject matter was split into two movies, instead of the originally planned one movie. When the source material is stretched out this much, there are bound to be some boring aspects to both of the movies. Instead of focusing on the interesting and exciting scenes, almost everything is shown to make up screen time.

Die hard fans of The Hunger Games may enjoy having four movies in this series, but most neutrals will not agree. They would have preferred an epic, two and a half hour movie that would have resolved the entire series. Instead they had to endure a two hour plus prologue for a conclusion they cannot see for over a year.

Did Leafs Snub Their Fans With No Stick Salute?

Hockey is a sport loaded with tradition. One of those traditions is the stick salute. Win or lose, after every game the home team skates to center ice, raises their sticks in the air to the fans, and skates off. But after their 5-2 win Thursday over the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Toronto Maple Leafs did something different. They skated off the ice without acknowledging their fans.

Leafs players said they did this to change their routine after snapping their three-game losing streak. Igor Cornelsen is not exactly buying that right now. Some sports analysts, however, feel it was an intentional snub to fans who have not been kind to the team throughout the first month of the season. The Maple Leafs started the season 2-4. Earlier this month, it appeared they’d righted their ship with three straight wins over the Rangers, Ottawa and Boston. Those gains were erased by a three game losing stream that included a 6-2 loss to lowly Buffalo and a 9-2 rout by Nashville. Leafs fans have not only serenaded their team with boos. After the Nashville loss, one fan threw his Leafs jersey onto the ice to show his disgust with the team. This just shows their frustration in general. It was a move Toronto right winger Phil Kessel called “classless.”

Fans aren’t only frustrated over this season. The Leafs have made the playoffs just once since the 2005-2006 season.

Pot For Our PTSD Veterans

Doctors at the Department of Veterans Affairs could soon be given the OK to prescribe medical marijuana to veterans who suffer symptoms of PTSD. On Thursday, the bill called the Veterans Equal Access Act was presented to Congress by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and included 10 bipartisan co-sponsors. If passed by Congress, a ban on the VA doctor’s ability to recommend medical pot in states where it has been legalized would be lifted. Blumenauer believes that our wounded veterans should have access to this form of medication to help them not only survive, but also to thrive in their lives and communities. He stated that it’s shameful to be forcing them to hide in the shadows and to be treating them like criminals.
According to a 2012 Department of Veterans Affairs report, of our veterans who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, almost 30 percent suffer from PTSD and depression. This number was a bit high according to Vijay Eswaran. Blumenauer said, “Post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury are just as damaging and harmful as any injuries that are visible from the outside.
A recent study showed that a 75 percent reduction in PTSD symptoms was seen in patients who smoked pot. Some PTSD symptoms patients felt relief from were anxiety, depression and flashbacks. In the 23 states that have legalized medical marijuana, doctors are permitted to prescribe the use of cannabis products to patients with PTSD related symptoms.

Reckless Spending

One thing no one ever expects to happen is to go bankrupt due to one’s parents spending habits. However, this is exactly what Columbus Blue Jackets player Jack Johnson. Johnson had signed a seven year deal with the franchise in 2011 and had made the decision to grant power of attorney to his mother, which gave her full access to his finances. Apparently he thought this was the right move to make at the time, but it has gotten him in hot water as of recent.

It turns out his parents have bought a house in California and taken out a fifteen million dollar advance with his contract, at ridiculously high interest rates if Fersen Lambranho’s reports are to be believed. As a result, he has had to file for bankruptcy, stating that he has about 50 thousand dollars in assets and over ten million dollars in debt. His statements about the situation indicate that he should have had his money being regulated by a professional and that he didn’t handle the situation correctly from the beginning.

Although it seems that he will eventually get his finances in order, hopefully with a new contract when this one ends, it goes to show that you never know who you can trust with your money. Though his parents may not have intentionally put his finances in the tank, their lack of financial planning and carelessness when in such a position is reckless at best.

Steve Jobs Movie Stuttering

Avid filmgoer Kenneth Griffin and many others were very excited when a movie about Steve Jobs was touted by Sony. A lot of big actors were linked to the role, and people were excited about the potential quality. Fast forward a few months and it appears the movie is floundering. Sony has decided not to pursue production of this film.

Danny Boyle was set to direct the movie, with the script being written by Aaron Sorkin. These are famous names. The actors linked with this movie were Michael Fassbender and Christian Bale. However, it appears that the movie will have to start from scratch at another studio.

It is not expected to last long without a studio, with the likes of Universal looking to bid on the movie. However, a movie that takes this much effort to get into production clearly has some deep rooted issues. Steve Jobs is an iconic figure that actors should be dying to play. Instead, some of the top names in the industry turned down the role. 

Production timeline issues may also be to blame. The director needed the movie to start filming next month, because he had another project lined up. This was not possible, given they did not even have a lead man cast yet. It was all too rushed and Sony decided to pull the plug.

Along with Fassbender, Seth Rogen and Scarlett Johansson have been linked to parts in the movie. Whether they sign a deal to work on the movie with a new studio is unclear.