Innocent Blood From Open Borders

Terrorism– its not like its a hobby or just a fad. It is a force; a life-threatening one that can and should be reckoned with. Whenever a terroristic tragedy strikes on U.S. soil, it’s natural that we will tamper with ideologies of how and why the attacks occurred to eliminate the possibility of all future attacks. With the latest of terroristic attacks, such as with the attack on September 11, 2001 and the Boston Marathon bombings, our analysis of these situations reveals one commonality that leads to only one possible solution: enhancement of our security by means of stricter immigration laws.

Americans were alarmed to discover that Ramzi Yousef and Ahmad Ajaj, the masterminds behind the planning of the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, were allowed into the United States using false passports that showed obvious signs of tampering. Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, a co-conspirator in the bombings and leader of “The Islamic Group” who spoke very adamantly and publicly about his “anti-american” viewpoints, was on the U.S. State Department’s terrorist watch list yet was freely allowed to travel in and out of the United States on an expired visa while conducting terrorist attacks in Egypt.

Nawaf muhammed Salim al-Hazmi, one of the chosen pilots by Osama bin Laden in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States, obtained a tourist visa which showed evidence of his association with Al-Quaeda. Because immigration inspectors were not officially trained to be aware of this sort of evidence, he was allowed to enter and exit the United States repeatedly. In 1999, the CIA was informed by Saudi Intelligence of Khalid al-Mihdhar’s (another chosen pilot in the attack) association with Al-Quaeda but was still allowed into the United States in 2000 to attend flight school.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013, was allowed to continue to live in the United States in spite of Tamerlan’s application for U.S. citizenship being placed on hold because of speculations of his association with Chechen terrorists. These suspicions were reported by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in 2011 to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. However, the FSB never responded to requests by the FBI for more supporting evidence of this speculation, therefore the case was closed.

Under the current immigration laws, certain offenses can disqualify an immigrant from obtaining and/or retaining American citizenship. With all the facts being apparent as to how and why the above terrorist were able to bypass these laws, it is obvious the current laws are not working. Unless stricter immigration laws are implemented immediately, we can expect more innocent blood to be shed because the United States will have failed, once again, to protect its citizens.

©2013 Learus Ohnine

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Dream Catchers… or Crushes?

Let’s face it: we’ve all had a crush on a celebrity at least once at any given point in our lives. Those precious moments when we find ourselves drifting away into a fantasy world of how romantic it would be if we were the love of our idol’s life are priceless. These fantasies make us feel so motivated, so important, and so inspired about life in general. Unfortunately, it’s that rude awakening of when reality sets in is when we realize our fantasy could never happen. Or could it?

A 14-year-old high school student, who went by the last name of Beaulieu, realized her infatuation with her celebrity crush could not go ignored any longer. While frequently attending an entertainment venue called “The Eagle Club” located in Wiesbaden, Germany, she met a man who claimed to be close friends with an old army buddy of this celebrity. Her intense attraction gave her the courage to ask this friend to introduce them. This ambitious fan managed to gain her parents permission to attend a party hosted by this celebrity. On that night in 1959, the star-struck teenager definitely struck her a star. This celebrity was so mesmerized by this fan that he wanted to start dating her immediately. Instant mutual passion started a romance between these two, but with 17 chart-topping songs and 4 hit movies under his belt, the young 9th-grade fan gave up all hope that she would ever become “the one”. In 1966, Elvis Presley proved Priscilla Beaulieu wrong when he proposed to her shortly before Christmas of that year.

In 1978, the 16-year-old Ms. Palzis had just finished shooting a scene in a film when she noticed a poster for the promotion of a 1950’s-style musical. Immediately, this model/actress knew she was going to marry the man who played the leading role. As with all hollywood insider connections, pursuing this actor/singer/dancer would be extremely easy for her. While both of them were on the set of the film “The Experts”, this future Golden Globe Award winner secretly wished to make Ms. Palzis his wife, but was reluctant to tell her because she was already married. A few years later, the two met again. This time, he refused to miss his chance. By the fall of 1991, Ms Kelly Palzis-Preston became Mrs. John Joseph Travolta.

In the mid 1980’s, this Toledo-born teenager had a major crush on this New Yorker from the moment she laid eyes on him while he played the role of a Naval aviator in one of the highest grossing films of the decade. She later went on to pursue her idol after starting her own acting career, making public declarations of her crush on this multiple Golden Globe Award winner. By April 2005, Katie Holmes’ mission became very possible when she met Tom Cruise on the set of “Mission: Impossible 3”, followed by their engagement just eight weeks later.

Lesson learned? Never say never…

© 2013 Learus Ohnine

The More, The Merrier (In Film)

Recently, there has been quite a bit of controversy over whether or not Hollywood should be allowed to utilize resources supposedly meant only for smaller-scale film makers and emerging talented artists. The Rob Thomas Veronica Mars project and Zach Braff’s “Wish I Was Here” project drew attention to crowdfunding resources to help develop their artistic projects. Hollywood celebrity projects are also being presented at independent film festivals, which has sparked yet another concern for smaller-scale film makers. Emerging artistic-entrepreneurs are concerned these high-profile projects will deprive them of funding as well as having the presence of Hollywood-related productions at independent film festivals will increase commercial pressure.

Kickstarter, a for-profit fundraiser, is designed to assist artists in a collective effort to help generate the required capital needed towards the development of their creative projects. For those who contribute a donation towards a project (called “Backers”), the artist will reward their pledgers with incentives based on the amount pledged. With the presence of Hollywood celebrities promoting their work, aspiring film makers feel the competition for acquiring funding is now too intense, mainly because of the more appealing incentives being offered by these high-profile projects and the presumption of the celebrity to be already financially secure enough to not need the monetary support. However, the presence of “hollywood” on this site has statistically proven to have drawn more backers who are willing to take the risk to invest in a production. Consequently, the more investors equals greater chances of exposure and in meeting the proposed investment goals for all participants.

Aside from the storylines and genre preferences, surveys have shown that movie goers tend to go see movies that feature their favorite Hollywood performing artists. Therefore, one of the main revenue-generating reasons behind the box office success of a film is due to the casting of the most popular Hollywood stars. Since determining the cast of a low-budget film usually weighs heavily on the film’s budget, this limits the available options for choosing major revenue-generating performers for the production of the film itself. The initial purpose of creating independent film festivals was to allow emerging film makers the opportunity to display their talents without the pressures and conformities of hollywood competition.

Because celebrities have since been able to participate in these independent film festivals, many feel this contradicts the purpose of these festivals in focusing the attention on the work of a lesser-known talent. On the other hand, celebrities bring with them a fan base of many whom attend these film festivals for a chance to meet their favorite celebrity face to face, again more chances of exposure for lesser known talented artists in creating their own fan base. With celebrities and their affiliates in attendance, this also creates more exposure and networking opportunities for emerging artists, and also the possibility of receiving collaborative propositions from those already established within the industry.

Ultimately, the chances of emerging talented artists getting increased exposure is greater when their association is connected to those who are already established within the Hollywood studio system. Many celebrities have begun their career this way–associating, networking, and collaborating their way through exposure. Crowdfunding resources and independent film festivals are about more than just competition; it is now considered the best collaborative social networking system beneficial for artist from all walks of life…

© 2013 Learus Ohnine

Almost finished :-)

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Freedom Tower as of 5-3-2013

Take a look at this beautiful building… isn’t it gorgeous? After over a decade, the new One World Trade building is almost finally finished. The new sleek design is absolutely breath-taking up close. “Freedom Tower” is the start of a while new liberation for New York City… and the entire country.

Freedom Tower currently holds the record as being the tallest building in the western hemisphere, standing at 1776 feet.

© 2013 Learus Ohnine

Apologies, apologies, and more apologies!

Just want to say I am truly sorry to all of you whose comment I haven’t responded to as of yet. I promise I will get to them as soon as I can…

I also want to apologize to those whom I have nominated for an award. I didn’t have time to follow the rules completely when I was nominated, so I had planned to come back the following day and notify all of you. Well, as life would have it (and usually “wins”), I did not get a chance to. I promise you I will do this soon. I hate leaving my responsibilities unfinished.
While I’m still pressed for time, I also want to say thanks to all who have left comments, accepted and nominated awards, and I hope everyone has a safe, fun, happy, and prosperous week!

See you all again soon! 🙂