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Showing posts from 2016

How're You Doing?

If you voted for Trump because he was an outsider, how is that working out for you?

He hasn't even taken office, and he is already acting like an insider with his cabinet choices. And his improper statesman decisions are affecting the US's relationships with other countries. His lack of knowledge of protocol has already had a deleterious effect on Taiwan and China. His improprieties have seen him have a normal citizen (his daughter) in a formal meeting with dignitaries and a love-fest for regimes that the US is currently struggling against, like Russia.

If you voted for Trump because he promised to "drain the swamp," how is that working out for  you?

He hasn't even taken office, and he is already filling the swamp with new creatures, muck, and mire so as to make it as thick and uninviting as possible. It is as if he typed "opposite" whenever doing a search for someone to fill a cabinet position. He has already dropped his idea of trying to get Congressi…

Jack Reacher Movies

A new Jack Reacher movie starring Tom Cruise is about to be released. I'm happy that the book series, one of my favorites, has made it to the big screen and that it has a major star attached. However, the star and his treatment of the subject is a problem.

The reason that Reacher is such an intriguing hero/anti-hero character in the books have to do with his size and his taciturn nature. He is tall, heavy, muscular, and has some very strong quirks; he doesn't own anything beyond what he carries with him, he doesn't have any real ID (until later in the series, anyway), he can't drive, and he doesn't use toothpaste (or floss or mouthwash)-- he simply uses a toothbrush, which is one of his few possessions.

His size is almost a character itself within the books. He rarely meets someone his own size, and he uses his size and physical presence to his advantage in the novels: frequently he can stop a fight from happening just by being so physically intimidating; sometimes…

To Honor or To Serve?

I was raised in a military family. I was raised in a military town. Part of my upbringing occurred on a military base. My father is a 20-year Marine veteran. So I understand service, sacrifice, and loyalty. Which is why, even though I personally find it poor manners and bad taste to sit, kneel, or otherwise ignore the national anthem, I will defend to my death your right to do it.

Others have said it better and probably more eloquently, but being an American is hard work. The rights conveyed by the Bill of Rights are difficult to live up to, not because they are confusing or hard to understand, but because they apply to everyone, including that person down the street, on the TV, or even in your own house with whom you vehemently disagree. Your rights end where that person's rights begin, and vice versa.

There is so much hatred and vitriol in our country right now. I simply don't understand why, except to say that it sells. I mean, would you really, truly listen to some of thes…

Netflix and ...

I think it is fairly clear that the public has spoken and voiced their desires. While many production companies keep creating their own online venues for movies and/or TV shows, the public has said, "We like the Neflix model. We want TV and movies under one banner, a variety, and at an affordable price."

It's funny to me how the movie studios, in particular, have responded. Many have created their own digital spaces and tried to get people to pay them to see their own movies. But none have been overly successful because the variety isn't there and the cost is either too high individually, or more than someone with a current Netflix subscription wants to pay.

In Canada, for a time, people were some of the worst digital thieves of any country. Canadians wanted access to US movies in a timely fashion and at a reasonable price. No one was providing that, however, so they turned to illicit means to get what they wanted. A few years back, Netflix finally made the jump into…

None of the Above

In Brewster's Millions, Richard Pryor has to spend $30 million in 30 days in order to inherit $300 million. One of the things he does to spend the money is start a campaign to get people to vote None of the Above rather than choose between two bad choices.

In this year's presidential election, I sort of feel like Monty Brewster and want to ask people to vote None of the Above. But we know how that turned out, don't we? (Everyone thought it was just a smart political ploy and they started voting for Brewster instead.)

American politics are broken. The 12th Amendment basically ensures a two-party system. That being said, there is a precedence for a third (or more) parties possibly making a solid run and gaining the votes needed for a plurality.

This year, with a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, I'm praying for a third-party candidate run that I can get behind. It's not that I actively dislike Clinton; I'm sure she would make a decent President and…

The Golden Rule ... Again

I can't help but notice that many of the countries that have accepted Syrian refugees and then treated them like crap, passed laws banning their ways of worship and dress, and generally allowing hatred and anti-Muslim/anti-Refugee/anti-"other" rhetoric to proliferate are the same countries that have then had issues with ISIS, with home-grown terrorism, and with the refugees causing issues.

Now, I look at Canada. This country has taken in some of the highest numbers of refugees, has tried its best to be welcoming and comforting to them, and has gone out of its way to show them they are valued. Areas like the East Coast, where population decline, poverty, and unemployment have been rampant, have been especially accommodating. And Canada, to-date, has had none of the issues these other countries have had.

Coincidence? I think not. By vilifying those who live in your country, no matter whether they are newly arrived or have been there for a long time, you foment rebellion an…

Too Long

The election cycle for President has become way too long. It is untenable and other countries' processes show that it doesn't need to be this long. Here are my thoughts on how to bring this under control:
1. Money. All money raised by all candidates goes into a pot and is then distributed equally to all candidates, or the top 5 at least. In this way, money cannot unduly influence the results by having someone with a multiple million dollar war chest simply swamping someone with a much smaller war chest. I also think that war chests should be limited, to limit the influence of money on politics. Not sure how to do that, though, except by above. 2. Primaries/Caucuses First, pick a system and stick with it. Since there are laws against making a person show or tell their vote, this means that caucuses should be done away with (as they are a very public way of voting, where everyone in the room can see for which candidate you are choosing to vote). Secondly, all primaries should ha…

Has Hate Won?

I think, sometimes, that hate has won, that America will eat itself from the inside and splinter into  many smaller nations. American could become the new Middle East, with many nations constantly at war with one another over ideological differences. I think this way because of how people are talking, and not talking, to each other.

The recent shooting in Orlando is a tragedy. But, to me, the bigger tragedy is reading the posts filled with hate about the shooting. If you evince any sympathy for those who were killed, or if you think that America needs to look at its gun laws and make revisions, you are instantly vilified as "left," "Liberal," "Democrat," "stupid," and a bunch of curse words that amount to being a woman or being gay. On the other side of things, people are "stupid," "Conservative," "right," and "Republican." I definitely agree with the "stupid" axiom, as that is true of either sid…

Do The Right Thing

I guess this is the thing that bothers me the most about the recent spate of racism and sexism: most of the hatred is coming from people who self-profess to be Christian. Yet, if you look at the lessons of the Bible, it specifically states things like turning the other cheek, loving your fellow man, and leaving judgment up to God, among others. There is a list of commandments that are pretty explicit, yet many of today's Christians are advocating or actually breaking many of the commandments on the list.

The parable of the Good Samaritan tells us that, when our neighbor is attacked, we should have mercy on him and help him as best we can. Yet, these Christians are the ones doing the attacking.

In the parable of the speck and the plank, the Bible teaches that people should not judge lest they be judged. It says that which you give, you will be given in exact measure in return. These Christians seem to be forgetting this, and the retribution for their hatred and acts of violence wil…

Is It Enough?

With the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice just around the corner, I have seen the endless debate about Superman as Clark Kent "getting away" with simply putting glasses on. Most fall on the side of "I would spot him in an instant" or "that's totally lame, he still looks the same!" Well, no, actually. What people don't understand is how much how you know someone is entirely based on context.

For example, have you ever been out shopping and had your mail-person stop you in the store and say hi? Until he/she says who he/she is, you probably draw a complete blank. Same with your hairdresser, next door neighbor, priest, and even some coworkers. This is because each of them wears a specific 'costume' when you see them, or you know them contextually based on location: the mail carrier uniform, an apron, a frock, and a suit and tie.

The human brain is a wonderful tool, but it can be easily confused. This is how magic works; tricks rel…

Learning the Wrong Message

Deadpool recently debuted and became a smash hit. Hollywood was completely surprised by how successful, and many studio executives are left scratching their heads. So far, however, it appears they are all coming to the wrong conclusion: that Deadpool is a hit because it is R-rated. Warner Bros has announced that they will release an R-rated cut of Batman v. Superman and the studio behind the upcoming third Wolverine movie have announced they will plan on it being R-rated.

The R-rating is not why Deadpool was successful. It was successful for a couple of reasons:
The marriage of actor with source material. Deadpool was created as a wise-cracking, 4th-wall breaking, madman. He is the only comic book character who KNOWS he is a comic book character. He's called the Merc with a Mouth for a reason. Ryan Reynolds' career is based on being a wise-cracking, smart-assed, but ultimately good-hearted guy. All he ever really needed was the costume, and he would be Deadpool. We saw the same…

Do Your Damn Job

If you or I did not do our job regularly and with unconcealed malice our bosses would fire us. Well, guess what? The Republicans in Congress have been avoiding their jobs for almost 8 years now. When "forced" to do their jobs, they have, instead, done their best to filibuster anything that isn't theirs, or push only their agenda. Congress has the worst record of any Congress ever during Obama's presidency.

Not only that, but John Boehner actually said he was going to urge obstructionism when Obama was elected. Meaning, before Obama had even suggested a single piece of legislature, they said they were not going to do their job. They said they were going to obstruct what did get written and put up for a vote. It's the same as you being hired and vocally proclaiming you aren't going to work, and then setting about doing anything but working right in front of your boss. I'm not sure your boss would like that, and I doubt you would hang around very long.

Howev…

Careful What You Wish For

I am almost hoping that Trump does get the GOP nomination and, eventually, the White House. In a case of "be careful what you wish for," I think the world, and the Americans that voted for him, will see what happens when someone without a plan, without political know-how, and without the acumen to be a President is elected.

It surprises me that he has made it this far. Most of the time, people who lie even once during a campaign are done. Trump has managed to fill nearly every single speech, answer, and comment with multiple falsehoods, but somehow he's just "saying it like it is." Really?

Seriously, how can anyone be elected when, objectively, no woman, no Latinos, few other minorities, and no one who is not Christian will vote for you? Hell, women make up not quite 52% of the American population... that alone should stop Trump in his tracks. Latinos make up 17% of the population... how can a presidential hopeful hope to overcome not getting any of those votes…

Quiet

Normally, I post a lot about politics here. I find stupid things the American government is doing/has done and I mock it, explain it, reason for or against it. I've been strangely quiet during this election cycle because I simply cannot believe what is going on.

The Republican process has been an unmitigated disaster. Few of the 14 people are remotely interested in being presidential, they just want to be the President. Carly Fiorina pretty much staked her entire campaign on false information, and couldn't change it when that information was proven, categorically and unequivocally, false. Jeb Bush would seem like a lock, but negative name recognition and a poorly run campaign have done him in. I don't know how Ben Carson stayed so high in the polls for so long; the man is a doctor who, apparently, doesn't understand how the human body works and lies about his past. Chris Christie? The people in his own state don't like him, how is he going to convince the rest of t…

DC Comics Continuity

Dear DC Comics,

I'm a lifelong fan. I have been reading your comics since I learned how to read. I have comics of yours going back to the mid-1970s. You have the characters I am most interested in reading. You have the titles I'm most interested in collecting.

But you're losing me as a reader.

You see, when you created the New 52, I was onboard. I thought you were ACTUALLY going to make changes to your titles, your characters, and to your history. I thought you were going to modernize everything and bring everything into the 21st century. Maybe change the race of some characters. Maybe streamline some history. Maybe start from scratch and keep what has always worked and throw out everything else.

But you screwed that up.

You see, you had a Green Lantern movie about to release and a popular Batman franchise already out. So the editors and writers of those two series were excluded from the revamp that was New 52. And those titles had an effect on other titles, like Robin, Ni…