Wednesday, December 31, 2014

RESPONSIBLE CELEBRATING 2014/15


As 2014 draws to a close,
please celebrate responsibly. Your friends and loved ones would like to enjoy your continued company in the new year.



A public service message of The Free Choice E-zine.

IN MEMORIUM 2014

While best and worst of everything lists are compiled by others as another year draws to a close, The Free Choice E-zine continues it annual tradition of pausing to briefly look back and remember those that are sadly no longer with us.
Unfortunately we cannot post the whole list; but amongst the innocents who died needlessly at the hands of others; our family, friends, and loved ones; as well as those within law enforcement, medical/emergency services, and the military who lost their lives helping and/or protecting others during 2014, we have also lost...

ACTORS
James Garner (Maverick, The Rockford Files, numerous movies)
Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Capote, Scent of a Woman, Doubt)
Edward Herrmann (Lost Boys, Gilmore Girls)
Bob Hoskins (Hook, The Long Good Friday, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?)
Russell Johnson (The Professor on Gilligan's Island)
Charles Keating (The Body Guard, Another World, All My Children)
Richard Kiel (Jaws of the James Bond franchise, original Wild, Wild West; Happy Gilmore, the classic Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man”)
Dave Madden (The Partridge Family, Alice)
Rik Mayall (Blackadder, An American Werewolf in London, Young Guns)
James Rebhorn (The Talented Mr. Ripley, Independence Day, Scent of a Woman)
Mickey Rooney (Night at the Museum franchise, Andy Hardy films, Boys Town)
Maximillian Schell (Judgment At Nuremberg, The Young Lions, A Bridge Too Far)
Donald Sinden (Broadway and London stages, Simba and other movies)
Meshach Taylor (Designing Women)
Ralph Waite (The Waltons, NCIS, Bones, Broadway stage)
Eli Wallach (The Magnificent 7; The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly; Godfather 3)
Ken Weatherwax (Originated role of Pugsley on The Addams Family)
Efrem Zimbalist, Junior (The FBI, 77 Sunset Strip, numerous vocal roles)
ACTRESSES
Lauren Bacall (To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep)
Polly Bergen (Champion, At War With The Army, Arena)
Christine Cavanaugh (Voice actress; Babe, Rugrats, Dexter's Lab, etc)
Ann B. Davis (The Bob Cummings Show, The Brady Bunch)
Ruby Dee (A Raisin In The Sun, Do The Right Thing)
Ruth Robinson Duccini (A Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz)
Jan Hooks (Saturday Night Live, Designing Women)
Mary Ann Mobley (Miss America 1959, Girl Happy, Harum Scarum, various television appearances)
Kate O'Mara (the original Rani on Doctor Who, Dynasty, The Saint)
Elizabeth Pena (Times Square, Free Willy 2, numerous TV guest appearances)
Elaine Stritch (Bus Stop, 30 Rock)
Carol Ann Susi (The Big Bang Theory, That 70's Show, Death Becomes Her)
Carmen Zapata (Broadway stage, numerous TV shows, Sister Act 1)
ATHLETES/SPORTS FIGURES
Rubin “Hurricane” Carter (Famed boxer wrongly accused of murder but exonerated decades later)
Dorothy Cheney, nee Bundy (professional tennis player)
Harley Clark (Accredited with creating the “Hook 'em Horns” hand gesture for the University of Texas sports programs)
Alice Coachman Davis (First African-American woman to win Olympic Gold. High jump in 1948 Olympics)
Tony Gwynn (long time professional baseball player with the San Diego Padres)
Lacey Holsworth (Noted fan of the Michigan State Men's College Basketball team lost her battle with cancer at age 8)
Louis 'Red' Klotz (long time owner/coach of the Washington Generals, often losing to the Harlem Globetrotters)
Chuck Noll (professional football player with Cleveland Browns and coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers)
Dale Schlueter (Inaugural member of Portland Trail Blazers of professional basketball)
Bob Suter (Member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team)
“The Ultimate Warrior” (James Brian Hellwig, WWE wrestler whose every public appearance featured a motivational message)
Don Zimmer (A storied, 66 year career in professional baseball)
CREATIVE PERSONNEL
Maya Angelou (Author; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, And Still I Rise)
Richard Attenborough (Actor/Director/Producer; A Bridge Too Far, Jurassic Park)
Amiri Baraka (Poet; Hard Facts, The Book of Monk)
Norman Bridwell (Creator of Clifford the Big Red Dog)
Stan Goldberg (Noted artist and colorist between the Marvel and Archie comic book companies)
James Foley (Journalist)
H. R. Giger (Famous painter/designer; Alien and Species franchises, amongst others)
P. D. James (Author; Death of an Expert Witness, Original Sin)
Tom Magliozzi (of National Public Radio's Car Talk)
Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Author; 100 Years of Solitude, Love in the Time of Cholera)
Paul Mazursky (Director; Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, An Unmarried Woman)
Joe McGinnis (Author; The Selling of the President 1968, Fatal Vision)
Mike Nichols (Director; The Graduate, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Silkwood)
Anja Niedringhaus (Photojournalist)
Harold Ramis (Actor/Director/Writer/Producer; Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, etc.)
Oscar de la Renta (Fashion designer)
Joseph Sargent (Film maker: original The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, MacArthur)
Morris Turner (Creator of Wee Pals comic strip)
ENTERTAINERS
Roberto Gomez Boloanos (aka Chespirito)
David Brenner (Stand up comedian)
Casey Kasem (Noted radio announcer and voice artist, originated role of Shaggy in the Scooby-Doo franchise)
Don Pardo (Inaugural announcer for Jeopardy! and Saturday Night Live, amongst other shows)
Joan Rivers (Comedienne, Red Carpet Expert)
Steve Rossi (Comedian who often teamed up with Marty Allen)
Robin Williams (Mork and Mindy, The Crazy Ones, numerous movies)
HISTORIC
Shirley Temple Black (Former child actress and United States Ambassador)
Ben Bradlee (Executive editor of The Washington Post: 1968-1991)
James Brady (shot during an assassination attempt against then President Ronald Reagan, gun control bill named after him)
Michael Brown and Eric Garner (Two whose loss might have serious repercussions in the future)
Sid Caesar (Television pioneer)
Frank Jobe (Pioneered “Tommy John” surgery for professional athletes)
Ralph Kiner (Former professional baseball player, inaugural announcer for the New York Mets from 1962-2013 for a 51 year uninterrupted career, passed away before 2014 season began)
Ariel Sharon (Former Prime Minister of Israel)
Garrick Utley (Journalist)
Walter Walsh (Famed Olympic Gold medal winner and FBI agent)
MUSICIANS
Jack Bruce (of Cream)
Joe Cocker (I'll Get By With A Little Help From My Friends, You Are So Beautiful, Up Where We Belong)
Kenny Drew (Jazz Pianist)
Phil Everly (of the Everly Brothers)
Al Harewood (noted jazz drummer)
Henry "Big Bank Hank" Johnson (Rapper with The Sugarhill Gang)
Jimi Jamison (original lead singer of Survivor)
Bobby Keys (Saxophonist; The Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Eric Clapton)
Johnny Ramone (Drummer for The Ramones)
Paul Revere (of Paul Revere and the Raiders; Kicks, Let Me)
Jimmy Ruffin (Singer; What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?, Hold On To My Love)
Joe Sample (noted pianist)
Pete Seeger (folk musician)
Horace Silver (jazz pianist and composer)
Johnny Winter (noted blues guitarist)
Bobby Womack (Singer/song writer; Lookin' For A Love, If You Think You're Lonely Now...)

DISHONORABLE MENTION
Suicide bombers, terrorists, and anyone else who would take another’s life without moral and legal justification.


NOTE: All categories and the names within them are alphabetical, except the last one.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

SUNDAY FUNNIES: WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

Hello Folks. The Free Choice E-zine's Editor-In-Chief Lee Houston, Junior here because the ladies have the holiday weekend off.
Hope every one of you had a great time. Autumn and Waxy are worried that I might not be able to produce a good column. I just looked at them and asked "What could go wrong?"
They just rolled their collective eyes and left to be with their families, as I realized I now had a theme for this post.

At first I thought the picture on the left was crooked, until I realized that grey spot on the bottom was part of the floor and not the ceiling.
Guess they needed more light in that corner, but couldn't decide upon the proper light fixture for that area.

I don't know if the person typing up the closed captions was rushed or just lazy that day, but take a closer look at what's written in blue below.
Okay, at least one of the signs on the red door below has to be wrong, but it isn't just a question of whether you're supposed to go in or out.
If you look more closely, you'll also see that there is a little "push" sign on the door, along with a handicap level bar to help PULL it open!




Another sign of poor planning on the right. Just WHO is supposed to enjoy the balconies?

I know some places are getting a lot tougher on crime than they used to, but I think either the caption with the image below is correct, or punishment is getting just a little too severe...



And for those doing their own laundry, does clothing come with secret decoder rings now?


I read that tag several times and have absolutely no idea how to treat the garment!

Typos are an everyday occurrence in life, but is there a formal term for when the wrong image is involved?
And finally, I'm just glad the architect responsible for the error in the image above didn't design my house!

Well, unfortunately that's all the time and space I have for this weekend.
Please party responsibly this New Year's Eve, because we like having you as part of our readership and join us again on January 4, 2015 as we begin a whole new year of Sunday Funnies!--lh,jr.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: DECEMBER 21-27, 2014

FRANCE CELEBRATES ITS 70th ANNIVERSARY OF JOINING
THE UNITED NATIONS ON NEW YEAR'S DAY 2015.

AMONGST EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD THIS PAST WEEK...
*KEURIG IS RECALLING OVER SIX MILLION OF THEIR K10 MINI-BREWING SYSTEMS DUE TO POSSIBLE BURN HAZARDS. The units were made and sold between December 2009 and July 2014.
*South Korea's Hydro and Nuclear Power Plant is reporting it has been hacked and has requested China's help with the investigation into the matter.
*Beji Caid Essebsi is the new President elect of Tunisia.
*The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission has fined Deutsche Bank over $3 BILLION U.S. Dollars for customer fund flaws.
*After a second round of parliament voting, Greece is still without a new President.

CONCERNING NORTH KOREA...
*The United Nations' Security Council is currently discussing North Korea's Human Rights policies and record.
*North Korea was without Internet service for several hours as China continues its own independent investigation of alleged computer hacker attacks.
*Despite warnings from North Korea, Sony Pictures rescheduled The Interview for a limited release. So far, nothing bad has happened to the theaters involved. Early reports from critics is that the movie is actually worth watching. North Korea is still calling it "a very dangerous film that justifies and promotes terrorism."
*While still denying any involvement in the initial attack on Sony Pictures, North Korea's Central News Agency used racial slurs against United States President Barack Obama during their Saturday news broadcast on the story.

CONCERNING THE WAR ON TERROR...
*Pope Francis has formally condemned ISIS/ISIL forces for their war and attacks on women, children, and minorities.
*Pakistan officials are vowing to bring the Taliban to justice for the senseless slaughter of over 140 people, mostly students, at the Peshawar School last week; including reinstating the death penalty for convicted terrorists.
*Suicide bombers still seem to be the "weapon" of choice in the Middle East.


BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE UKRAINE...
*Kazakhstan has renewed its military cooperation with the Ukraine in their conflict with pro-Russian separatists.
*The Ukrainian government is proceeding in negotiations with NATO, while Russia and Pakistan have entered into a gas deal together.
*As Russia tries to stabilize the ruble, Vladimir Putin has announced price controls on vodka to prevent black market, bootlegging, and moon shining sales.
*The Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists recently completed a prisoner exchange near Donbass.

WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...
*The United States Congress is off on winter break until after the new year begins.
*Despite warnings from North Korea, Sony Pictures rescheduled The Interview for a limited release. So far, nothing bad has happened to the theaters involved. Early reports from critics is that the movie is actually worth watching.
*Computer hackers reportedly attacked both the Playstation and Xbox Live networks on Christmas Day. Sony is trying to restore their Playstation channel with no word on the current status of the Xbox system from Microsoft.
*The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission has fined Deutsche Bank over $3 BILLION U.S. Dollars for customer fund flaws.
*Film maker Joseph Sargent (The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, MacArthur, etc) is no longer with us.
*Singer Joe Cocker (I'll Get By With A Little Help From My Friends, Up Where We Belong) has sadly lost his battle against lung cancer.



THE FREE CHOICE E-ZINE WOULD LIKE TO WISH ALL ITS READERSHIP A HAPPY NEW YEAR AND WE'LL SEE YOU IN 2015!


For more news at any time, either scroll down to our IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of your screen or visit any other reputable news source.

THE PUZZLE CORNER: DECEMBER 27, 2014

FUN FACT
Original movie poster

The Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street was originally released in MAY 1947. The 20th Century Fox Public Relations department had the difficult task of marketing the movie without mentioning the holiday nor Santa Claus; but the film went on to win Oscars for Best Supporting Actor (Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle), and Best Writing in both the Original Story and Screenplay categories.

Welcome to the last Puzzle Corner of 2014.
There will be many more enigmas in the weekends of years to come, but let's end this year on a high note, shall we?

TRIVIA TIME
What Christmas story, between movies and television, has been the most filmed to date?
HINT: It isn't Miracle on 34th Street.

THE LETTER SHUFFLE
How many new words can you spell, using the letters within the phrase NEW YEAR?
NOTE: Those two individual words cannot count as part of your answer since they are part of the phrase.

We'll reveal all and start a new year of puzzles on January 3, 2015.
But for now, let's open up THE ANSWERS BOX, and reveal the results of the December 20, 2014 Puzzle Corner.

TRIVIA TIME
If you've been following The Puzzle Corner this holiday season, then you know that the 4 animated Christmas specials that have been continuously shown on TV annually since their debut are:
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 1964
A Charlie Brown Christmas 1965
Doctor Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas 1966 and
Frosty the Snowman 1969.

FAMOUS FIRSTS
Then, although it unfortunately hasn't gained the renown of the quartet above, what animated TV special debuted before all the others?
Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol in 1962.
The special was originally 55 minutes long, since there were far less commercials on TV back then, and requires 90 minutes to show it in its entirety on TV by today's commercial standards.


HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY
AND WE'LL SEE YOU IN 2015!

Friday, December 26, 2014

BOXING DAY/KWANZAA 2014

For those of our readership who either honor those in their employ...


Or begin the celebration of the seven core principles of
unity, self discipline, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith...


May your festivities be the brightest they can be!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2014

FROM THE FREE CHOICE E-ZINE TO OUR LOYAL READERSHIP
AND THE REST OF THE WORLD...




Sunday, December 21, 2014

SUNDAY FUNNIES: DEAR SANTA (Autumn and Waxy's letters)

The following is our Sunday Funnies crew's annual letters to the North Pole.
The Free Choice E-zine has permission to reprint both them
and the responses from Mister Claus himself.

Dear Santa:
First and foremost, let me apologize once again for mistaking you for a burglar when you visited my house last Christmas. I was just doing my nightly job of guarding my people when you arrived to leave their presents and I honestly didn't know it was you.

Now then, what would I like for Christmas?
That's a good question.

My people take care of my health. Except for potty runs, I'm indoors during the worst weather times, and I'm certainly fed and loved.

So personally, I don't really need anything; although if you could please explain why I'm not allowed in libraries, despite the fact that I love (TO READ!) books, or why I'm not allowed to drive my people's vehicles despite the fact that I have a (dog) license, I really would appreciate it.

I guess if I were to ask for anything, it would be to make sure that every dog, cat, goldfish, etc; is as lucky to have a good home like I am.

That is a pretty big request, so I'll understand if it isn't possible to fulfill it in one night, but hopefully in time all Humans will be as kind to animals as my people are to me.

In any event, I also promise not to use the Christmas Tree as indoor plumbing, nor will I eat your cookies/snack before you get a chance to enjoy it.
But if there are any crumbs leftover after you're done...

MERRY CHRISTMAS and take care.
Love, Autumn the Puppy


Dear Autumn:
All is forgiven. You're a good dog.
I will do what I can in regards to helping strays find new homes after the holidays, but even if I didn't already have an important year-round job, I can't do it alone.
I hope anyone looking for a pet for either themselves or their children consider adopting from their local shelter instead of buying one from a pet store.
Love is a precious commodity as it is. There never seems to be enough to go around, considering how many are in need of experiencing it.
One person can't do everything, but if we all do something...
Santa.


A good little dragon
Dear Santa:
How's it going?
I've been a good baby dragon all year.
Or at least, I've tried to.

I've been thinking long and hard about what I want for Christmas, although why you never gave me as much Belgosian Dark Chocolate as I asked for last year is beyond me.

Anyway, while the rest of my Christmas list is on the next page (the toys, the Belgosian Dark Chocolate, crayons, Belgosian Dark Chocolate, new coloring books, Belgosian Dark Chocolate); there is something more important that I need to talk to you about right now.
Rudolph drawing by Waxy herself

I thought we cleared this up in my letter to you last year, but why is Olive the other reindeer still picking on poor Names; I mean, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?

Didn't she learn her lesson already?
I know that a red nose is unusual for a reindeer, but like I said before, there is nothing wrong with being different.
EVERYBODY IS!

Anyway, please don't be scared when I try to wait up for you again this Christmas Eve. I don't know what the problem was on your end. I just wanted to say hello and meet the sleigh team, but you never came until after I fell asleep. Considering everywhere you go and all you do, I can't believe you're shy too.
Well, here's hoping I get to see you Christmas Eve, and please don't forget the Belgosian Dark Chocolate.
Love, Waxy Dragon

Dear Waxy:
Rudolph and friends
I understand and deeply appreciate your concern, but that song plays every year because it's an important lesson that needs to be learned and never forgotten.
Everyone IS different, and it is those differences that not only need to be respected, but helps make the world the special place it is.
As for your list, wait and see how things go Christmas morning.
Santa.

AND TO THE FREE CHOICE E-ZINE AND ITS READERSHIP...


S.C.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: DECEMBER 14-20, 2014

THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE WINTER SOLSTICE IS DECEMBER 21st.
MEANWHILE, THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE WILL BE
EXPERIENCING ITS SUMMER SOLSTICE.
CHRISTMAS IS DECEMBER 25th.
BOXING DAY IS DECEMBER 26th.
KWANZA BEGINS DECEMBER 26th.

AMONGST EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD THIS PAST WEEK...
*Laurent Lamothe has resigned as Prime Minister of Haiti in the wake of violent protests there. No word on when a new election will be scheduled yet.
*The Liberal Democratic Party has won a majority in the Japanese general election.
*The Parliament of Greece failed to elect a new President in the first round of voting.
*Hong Kong authorities report there are no longer any protest camps in existence following students wanting voting reform from the Chinese government.
*Known Ebola Virus deaths have risen over 7000 victims for 2014, according to the World Health Organization.
*Denmark has filed a claim with the United Nations for sovereign ownership of the North Pole.
*The United Nations is taking steps to address the issue of climate change.
*Same gender marriages are now legal in Scotland.
*Rolene Strauss of South Africa is the new Miss World, 2014.

CONCERNING NORTH KOREA...
*North Korea has forced Sony Pictures to pull The Interview (about a fictitious attempt on the life of current leader Kim Jong-un) from theaters before its debut, or have movie houses targeted for attacks "that would rival 9-11".
*Meanwhile, Paramount Pictures will not allow theaters to show Team America: World Police in The Interview's place. That comedy featured former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il as a villain.
*North Korea also denies all allegations of involvement in the hacker attacks against Sony Studios, and claims there will be "serious repercussions" if America refuses the country's offer to help with the ongoing investigation. Meanwhile, America has not accepted their offer and has requested China's help in tracking down the foreign based hackers.

TERRORISM UPDATE...
*Taliban gunmen stormed a school in Peshawar, Pakistan; killing over 140 people, mostly students. In the aftermath of this attack, Pakistan has reestablished the death penalty for guilty terrorists.
*India has declared a ban on ISIS/ISIL after some of their members were found responsible for violent acts in that country.
*Yemen has been the target for a rash of car bombs.
*Members of Boko Haram reportedly have stormed the village of Gumsuri, Nigeria; killing over 30 people while kidnapping roughly 200 hostages.


BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE UKRAINE...
*Russia is trying to stop the rapid decline of the ruble.
*The European Union and the United States have imposed new sanctions against Russian occupied Crimea.
*Donetsk, Ukraine is still occupied by pro-Russian separatists at this time.

PASSING PARADE...
*Robert Simpson, co-creator of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane wind scale, is no longer with us.
*Actor Booth Colman (The original Planet of the Apes franchise, Norma Rae, etc) has taken his last bow on life's stage.
*Arthur Gardner (Film/TV producer/actor) is no longer with us.

WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...
*President Barack Obama has announced efforts to renew diplomatic relations with Cuba. America is scheduled to reestablish an embassy in Havana in 2015.
*In its last week of work before the 2014 Winter Break, while still having a Democratic majority, the Senate approved Vivek Murthy as the new Surgeon General.
*The national average for a gallon of gasoline has fallen below $2.75; but nobody is thanking or blaming President Obama for it.
*America has imposed new sanctions against Russian occupied Crimea.
*Pending any last minute legal challenges, Florida will officially recognize same gender marriages come January 2015.

For more news at any time, either scroll down to our IN OTHER NEWS at the bottom of your screen or visit any other reputable news source.