Sunday, June 1, 2008



Last night, I watched the movie "Charlie Wilson's War", which I hadn't realized was rated R, and I discovered early on exactly why that was. Even the generally squeaky-clean Tom Hanks (in my opinion) used an occasional F-word. There was some nudity as well. Hanks played Texas congressman Charlie Wilson, and Julia Roberts was his wealthy married supporter in more ways than one. Here is a picture of the two of them in the movie:

The movie was based on the true story of how Congressman Wilson developed a deep concern for the Afghan people during the invasion by the Soviets. He learned that the Afghans had primitive weapons that were no match for the heartless Soviet soldiers, who committed horrible atrocities against them. The Soviets would even scatter items that looked like candy or toys so that when children picked them up, the "candy" or "toy" would blow up and thus there were many little children who were amputees.

Together with a rather oddball guy named Gust, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson was able to call in enough political IOU's to come up with a budget enabling the U.S. to supply the Afghans with weaponry that could shoot down the merciless Soviet helicopters and jets.

It was quite interesting to watch the portrayal of the political wheeling and dealing that went on in order to assist the Afghan people. Also, it was a good explanation of what might make the subject of another movie: How the Taliban came into power and the ultimate turning of some Afghans' aggression against the United States.

Charlie Wilson himself was quite easy-going morally, and there is a description of him in the movie that is very on-the-mark. Still, he had a big heart when it came to the plight of Afghanistan.

I would recommend the movie to mature adults who are interested in recent history and can disapprove of Charlie Wilson's foibles while still appreciating the good that he did for an oppressed people.


I was very glad to hear yesterday that Barack Obama had quit his church. I don't see that he had much choice due to the continued political lampooning of Hillary Clinton from that church's pulpit, this time from a guest preacher. In doing this, Obama proved that he is truly a person who will make peace with Clinton when the time comes to do so and also that he is not just talking the talk but walking the walk. I didn't sense a lot of rancor, either from Obama or from the church leaders, in Obama's taking this step. I think Obama has a lot of wisdom for so relatively young a man on the political scene.

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