I liked Ordinary People more, but I agree Raging Bull is the better film, easily. I just disliked every character in Raging Bull except the mob boss.

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More from @RadioFreeTom

22 Feb
So, I did an interview on radio today about Able Archer, the 1983 NATO exercise that apparently scared the poo out of the Kremlin. There are still analysts who think this wasn't much of a fuss, but more declassified documents suggest it was plenty scary. A few notes. /1
The declassified stuff now confirms that US intelligence saw a sudden and unusual alert of Soviet forces, esp in East Germany, as if they were preparing for a nuclear strike. Analysts looking at this later have been trying to untangle why it wasn't a much bigger alert. /2
So, reading through the declassified stuff in the new volume of Foreign Relations of the U.S., there are some clues, and they add to what we know already. First, it's clear there was dissent within the Kremlin about the level of the U.S. threat. We knew this part. /3
Read 17 tweets
18 Feb
So, promised you all a more uplifting story of something that happened today in Boston. I was in an old building with a business on each floor, with a very narrow staircase. An old lady was coming up the stairs. We were masked but it was very small and so I quickly backed up. /1
When I stepped back, I knocked over a sign for one of the businesses. The door behind it was locked, and I figured it was closed, and the old lady was trying to get up the stairs, and so I left. As I was crossing the street, a guy follows me out with the sign. /2
He is *really mad*, as the sign has a crack in it and he is chewing me out in broken English. "I work hard! For my children! Come on man!" Now *I'm* mad, and I say: "This was blocking the hallway, and the old lady couldn't get by, and whaddaywant!" and I'm being all Masshole. /3
Read 9 tweets
18 Feb
I’m exhausted by the insanity of the “let’s celebrate Rush Limbaugh‘s death“ tweets. So I’ll leave you with one last thought. One reason you don’t celebrate the death of a bad person - and a reason I am against the death penalty - is that death ends the chance for repentance. /1
I would rather someone be in prison for the rest of his or her life and have the chance to repent then enjoy the temporary satisfaction of electrocuting them. And sometimes it happens. George Wallace repented before his death. It can happen. /2
I think this is especially important when a bad human being, like Rush Limbaugh, dies. It means there will be no earthly repentance. And to give up on that conflicts with my religious beliefs. /3
Read 5 tweets
15 Feb
Just amplify the point @McFaul was making earlier, there is no doubt that Trump is an authoritarian and the people around him are wannabe authoritarians, but the history of mass movements tells you that they are not made by people like Trump. /1
Think of it this way: people like Trump are the initial bout of a sickness that leaves a society weak and open to opportunistic infection from authoritarians who are far more competent and capable of building an actual mass movement. /2
This is a serious danger, especially since Trump proved you can break down the guardrails of a constitutional republic and get away with it. But people who think that Trump is leading a mass movement are ignoring a lot of important historical realities about such movements. /3
Read 6 tweets
14 Feb
Okay, so everyone is liking that I like Mary Chapin Carpenter, but honesty means that I have to tell the story of how I first saw her and why I didn't like her at all and it was a terrible night out. /1
I was a dating a very nice woman with taste in just about everything better than mine, and she said: MCC at the Birchmere just outside of DC, and you'll love it. And I was like...uh, country. Folk. No. This was mid-80s and I was all New Wave and Britpop. But I went. /2
Anyway, MCC was in a very folky phase then, and if I recall, comes in with an acoustic guitar and a long print dress and starts singing quiet, pretty songs, and by the end of that first pitcher of beer, even though I'm sitting near the stage, I am literally nodding off. /3
Read 7 tweets
8 Feb
@Shoq @DanShenise No, it's not. Part of how we got here was in a culture - and on this, the conservatives are correct - that refused to differentiate between Romney and David Duke. You have no idea the effect of calling people Nazis for forty years. Your guys helped inure people to the charge. /1
@Shoq @DanShenise This is not the same as "you made them be Nazis." It's worse than that: the undifferentiated attacks on centrist GOPers convinced a lot of voters that there was no wolf, when there were plenty of wolves. I have been banging this drum for thirty years. /2
@Shoq @DanShenise I think the 1994 takeover was a shock to the GOP and most of the things you'd want to say about us after 1994 are true and legit. But "it was all you, it was always this way, and it's inherent in conservatism" is not only nuts, but helped create 2016. /3
Read 7 tweets

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