Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Month of Free Gifts For You - Win New Designs of Classic Movie Posters

Elvis Presley, John Wayne, Gene Hackman, Sidney Poitier, Peter Sellers, Frank Sinatra, Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn are all working together for the first time to thank you, dear readers, for having that Cup of Joe here on the internet.

As a part of the celebration of this blog's 4th birthday and in conjunction with Turner Classic Movies, August is full of stars, including you!! So, I'm giving away 2 sets of 6 movie posters, all newly designed and original creations based on some classic American movies. To win, all you have to do is enter your name in the comments section below this post before midnight August 31st, 2009. Two winners will be selected among all entries - and only one entry per household.

If you would like to peek at the 31 new posters designs created by the folks at Turner Classic Movies, then click here and you can zoom in and out on the images for close-up views.

Each day this month, Turner Classic Movies are highlighting the movies from some icons of cinema - like those listed above. Today, for example, they are featuring 24 hours of the films of Gloria Grahame, in great films like "The Big Heat" and "The Greatest Show on Earth" and "In A Lonely Place."

A full schedule of the films and stars are right here in a PDF format.

Also, check back here on this blog the rest of the month, and I'll have articles and info on these legendary films and their stars, and you can also see an easy-to-read widget which will have each day's featured performer. As shown below, the poster for Grahame is taken from the terrific crime thriller "The Big Heat", and for the daring scene where a cruel (and young) Lee Marvin hurls a pot of boiling coffee at her face, scarring her beyond imagination. I think the new poster design is pretty amazing and if you'll click around on the widget, you can learn a lot more about each star each day.

It's all a way to celebrate the start of the 5th year for this blog and to thank you for reading. So just enter your name in the comment section today and you could grab the gear. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm Giving Away Presents For My Blog Birthday

Since this tasty, fresh, piping-hot and aromatically stimulating Cup of Joe just had it's Blog Birthday, turning into a humble-but-lovable 4-year-old -- I am giving presents to YOU this year.

Tune in tomorrow to find out how you can get this special present.

What is it?

It's full of stars.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Death Panels" Are Real - They Come From Your Insurance Policy

I was glad to see that former Gov. Sarah Palin was forced to choke on her own words thanks to a major blast of reality from folks like my blogging friend Southern Beale.

Palin's idiotic "government death panels" are fantasy, but the reality is insurance companies DO have them, as Beale experienced first-hand. Her blog post has been rocketing around the internet:

I’ve been part of a death panel conversation. I know about death panels.

You have no idea what it’s like to be called into a sterile conference room with a hospital administrator you’ve never met before and be told that your mother’s insurance policy will only pay for 30 days in ICU. You can't imagine what it's like to be advised that you need to “make some decisions,” like whether your mother should be released “HTD” which is hospital parlance for “home to die,” or if you want to pay out of pocket to keep her in the ICU another week. And when you ask how much that would cost you are given a number so impossibly large that you realize there really are no decisions to make. The decision has been made for you. "Living will" or no, it doesn't matter. The bank account and the insurance policy have trumped any legal document.

If this isn’t a “death panel” I don’t know what is.

So don’t talk to me about “death panels” you heartless, cruel, greedy sons of bitches, who are only too happy to keep the profits rolling in to the big insurance companies while you spout your mealy-mouthed bumper sticker slogans about the evils of socialism. You don't even know what socialism is. You don't know what government healthcare is."

Other tales of of the way our current insurance systems operate (or fail to provide for operations perhaps) are in Salon today.

At KnoxViews, TN Senator Lamar Alexander says no reform bill currently being debated is worthwhile. Certainly, what is being termed "debate" has no value.

At MetaFilter, their readers comment on the way wild rumors are getting credibility thanks to enablers from the lunatics and protectors of big insurance companies with some humor:

Two recent concerns appear to have been omitted:

(1) "Obama's gonna EAT mah BABY!!1"


(2) "Keep the government out of my Medicare!"


"I'm convinced Americans have gradually been duped into becoming the best consumers in the world: a whole nation full of dyed-in-the-wool suckers whose biggest blind-spot is thinking ourselves savvier than everyone else.

So we gladly pay for food packed with cheap fillers (practices like injecting water into meat products to weigh them down that might have gotten a butcher's hand chopped off in a medieval marketplace are routine in ours). And by default, the beverages in restaurants and bars come with more ice than beverage in them. And our health insurance policies feature high deductibles and so many exclusions they don't even cover things as fundamental to human health and continued existence as childbirth. Hell, after Katrina, how many people in the affected regions were astonished to learn that their catastrophic hurricane insurance included a flooding exclusion that allowed insurers to get out of paying claims if they could demonstrate virtually any degree of water damage (even if the damage was due to rain coupled with wind damage, not flooding)?

And yet, we always remain convinced that the choices we have as consumers are better than the equivalent choices available to consumers in any other part of the world. My first extended stay in Germany, seeing first hand that my mom and my sisters, even living near the bottom of the economic ladder as they did, ate better food and enjoyed a better quality of life and higher standard of health care than virtually any American I knew--man, that was something.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Lunacy Over Health Care and Insurance Reforms

It's getting ugly out there -- rabid, illogical and often just plain old-fashioned lying -- as efforts are made to change the way insurance and health care work.

Really ugly -- but not really surprising, given that the voices from the Right are led by the small-minded self-aggrandizers like Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin.