Monday, December 17, 2012


Like all Americans I was horrified and deeply saddened at the events that unfolded on Friday, a mass shooting at an elementary school that resulted in 28 deaths. 20 of them 6 and 7 year old children.

This kind of unspeakable evil is the worst kind of tragedy to endure, even 3000 miles away, because it is certainly at the top of every parents list of worst nightmare scenarios.  As a parent myself I cannot help but have a visceral reaction, a physical revulsion at the details of this mind numbing series of events.

I have prayed every night since the shooting - prayed for the peace of the souls that have passed on and even more so for the permanently damaged souls of those left behind.

I have been awestruck and humbled by the courage displayed by both the teachers who acted heroically to save lives and by some of the parents of killed children who have bravely stepped forward to pay tribute to their fallen angels and comfort a nation.

As a person of faith, I am always reminded in these the darkest of times, of God's love, as the very worst of one person inevitably and quickly brings out the very best of everyone else, regardless of how closely they are connected to whatever atrocity has occurred.

But this time there have been a few exceptions.

I hoped, prayed and even assumed that the media vultures and ghouls that prey on fear and seek to politicize rather than to pause, grieve and reflect would stay their hands for at least the weekend.  Unfortunately, in this age of instant information and gratification, I was very wrong.

The shrill cries began almost immediately, both from media outlets and even on my facebook feed.  An infantile petulance, like a toddler who doesn't like broccoli - "Guns are nasty and mean and I don't like them - therefore no one should have them!"

Never mind that the number of mass shootings in the US has dropped in half over the past ten years as compared to the 1990's.

Never mind that EVERY SINGLE ONE of these events in the US with the single exception of the Gifford shooting in Tucson has taken place in a "Gun-Free Zone".

Why did the Aurora shooter pick a theater that was farther away from his house than the ones closer to him?  Because it was the only theater in the area that banned concealed handguns.

Never mind that the odds of getting caught up in a mass shooting are about the same as being struck by lighting.

Never mind that the worst mass shooting in recent history took place in a country where private citizen ownership of guns is highly restricted to only sport and hunting firearms.

Never mind that the worst mass school killing in US history didn't involve firearms and took place nearly 90 years ago.

Never mind that until last Friday the two worst mass school shootings ever took place in Germany and the U.K.

No, never mind facts, reasoning or logic.

Once again, the liberal brain damage, the regressive infantilism of intellect has broiled to the surface, bubbling over in shrieking absolutisms that have no basis in rational thought.

Where are the highest murder rates in the country?  Oh yeah, that would be Chicago and Washington DC, two of the strictest gun controlled cities in the world.

Already I can hear the whining and indignation.  Take a breath and untwist your panties.

I'm not saying that gun control shouldn't be part of the national conversation - but get this fact through your head -

You aren't taking our guns.  Be they high capacity magazine pistols or semi-automatic assault rifles.

Read, rinse and repeat.

It just isn't going to happen.

Not because we are "crazy" Americans who LOVE our guns.  But because we are Americans who understand the fundamentals of history and of freedom.

An armed citizenry is essential to liberty, period.

The first thing the USSR did was disarm the populace.

The first thing the Nazi's did was disarm the populace.  The Chinese.  The North Koreans.  And on and on.

It ain't going to happen here.

"Well by that logic we should all have nuclear war-heads and aircraft carriers!"

Sorry.  This is simply stupid.  And not true.  It wasn't true in Vietnam and it certainly isn't true in the middle east.

If my government decides to run rough shod over my home and family, I can fight back with an AR15.  That is a plain fact.

And I speak as a non-gun owner.  A child of Berkeley who has never had firearms in his life and had never actually fired a gun until well into his adulthood.

I have never really felt a desire to purchase a firearm, until the last 10 years of my life.

I feel that pressure more and more now, as the childish cries of outrage from the left increase.  Mostly from buffoons who surround themselves with gun packing body guards.

If this insane rhetoric about banning hand-guns or high powered rifles starts to look like it's turning into actionable and serious restrictions on firearm ownership, you will quickly see this gun-free flower child in front of you heading to the gun store - without hesitation.

And once I'm armed then you can try to take my guns away.

Just try.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

No excuses.

Dear Mr. President,

Alrighty, the American people have spoken.  And I am truly grateful there was no controversy as there was in 2000.  A clear cut winner, even if it's you, is better than a nail biter with the other guy on top.

I wish you the best of luck and hope that you can actually format a plan now that you have no one to spend 100 million dollars attacking.

The campaign is over son, time to put your big boy britches on.

Will you play another 100 rounds of golf? Will Michelle continue to vacation relentlessly, everywhere from a multi million dollar Italian villa to the slopes of Switzerland with her entourage of friends and groupies?

Who knows.  Who cares.

Once again, the campaign is over - now it's time to do your job.

I pray for your safety and success.  You're going to need it.

And I don't want to hear about Bush, I don't want to hear about the Republican House of Representatives.  I want you to man up and own these next four years.

And make no mistake, the numbers don't lie - you have failed miserably on nearly every point so far, especially on our floundering economy, which is still slowly recovering despite your best efforts.

I'm glad you killed Bin Laden, and I'm glad you continue to follow the Bush doctrine overseas, again - despite your best efforts.  Whatever happens, don't stop with the drones and don't take your foot off the gas of our soldiers killing bad guys.  But I fear that your foreign policy naivete', though endearing in the eyes of self-loathing Jews and porridge brained liberals, might just be too strong.  Four more years is a long time to try and keep bullshitting now that most of the world is on to your appeasement/apology game.

I also despair that knee deep into your second term, the light bulb might never go on, that you might never get it.  That your old fall mantra of"millionaires and billionaires" needing to pay their "fair share" is probably the biggest load of horseshit unleashed upon the American people since Woodrow Wilson tried to strong arm and crush free enterprise through legislative thuggery. I know that eventually the majority of the country will wake up to this, but I fear you may not.

But for now I will put these fears aside.  It is morning in America, after all.

In the end, I have just one wish for you.  I wish that you know, if you don't already, that the United States of America is the greatest country on God's green earth with the greatest system of free enterprise ever known and should NEVER apologize for this.  America is exceptional, period.  We are blessed more than any other nation, and with this blessing comes the responsibility to embrace and protect our greatness.  We should not strive to be "more like Europe" or "less arrogant" or any other childish platitude.   As I said, it's time to man up.  It's time to grow up.

No excuses.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Evil Voting Guide 2012

Here's your handy dandy evil voting guide for 2012!

Romney, obviously.  But I really don't think it will make that much difference.  Mittens is too squishy on his numbers, and I seriously doubt he will implement the austerity necessary to get our nation back to the realm of fiscal solvency.  Still, I'm not voting for the fruit loop.

Not voting for Feinstein, she of the uber-entitled entrenched politician.

Voting for her completely inexperienced opponent, Emken, who at least has the balls to say she would take on Fieney anytime and anywhere.  Meanwhile Diane is a big fat chicken shit.

The propositions -

A HUGE no on 30.  It will not go to schools, it will go to entirely to pensions.  California spends a ton of money on education, 40 cents of every CSI tax dollar goes to schools and they still SUCK.  Not doing it.  Mostly because I hate children.

A NO on 31.  Bureaucratic gobbledygook that is vague over what to do with a mountain of tax payer dollars.  How about less taxes and getting your grubby paws off my GD money?

32 is a HUGE YES.  Screw the public sector union leaders that are bankrupting this state.  Finally a measure that says NO to cronyism and corruption and the stranglehold that union goons have on spineless Sacramento politicians.

33 - let's you keep your discount if you switch insurance companies.  Mmmmm, gonna have to go with no.  I hate insurance companies, but I hate our government regulating them even more.

34 - death penalty repeal to "save money".  Nope.  I am fairly anti-capital punishment, but I also respect the rule of law and see this measure as an absurd smokescreen for the nutty bleeding hearts who don't actually give a shit about saving money and even less of a shit about the rights of victims.  We need to speed the appeal process and start executing the monsters on death row if we are serious about saving money.

35 - increases penalties for human trafficking.  A big NO.  Just kidding.  This is the one prop that only a complete jackass would come out against.  It's like saying, "absolutely pedophiles should be set free"or some such BS.  If anything this prop isn't strong enough.  You traffic people, especially kids, you should never see the light of day.

36 - revises 3 strikes to violent crimes only.  HUGE FUCKING NO.  I put this one above even voting no on 30 and yes on 32.  3 strikes is a God send and one of the biggest reasons crime rates are so low.  Because authorities can now blast habitual offenders with 25 years for "non-violent" crimes, we have FAR less gang members amongst us.  It's called the "broken window theory" and it works great for keeping us safe.  For every idiot pot smoker languishing in jail who shouldn't be, there's a thousand or more truly dangerous criminals who have mercifully been taken out of society and can't commit the atrocities they were likely to commit.  God bless our cops and God bless 3 strikes.  I pray it keeps it's teeth.

37 - labeling law.  A big ass NO.  More needless and absurdly written regulation will cost business money and do little to keep us safer.

38 - NO.  See 30 above.  Though this bill is at least honest in that it will tax everyone and the money will go directly to local schools.  Might be inclined to vote yes except my kid goes to Burbank public schools and they are already excellent because it is a small district that keeps a tight control on not pissing away it's funds on perks and wasteful pipe dreams.

39 - punishes multi-state businesses by requiring them to pay full California state tax on all profits from California.   Do I really need to tell you how I'm voting on this one?  Um...  NO.

40.  Redistricting for state senate.  Yes, only because it can't really hurt at this point.  Probably a scam, but our legislature is so beyond boned right now it's not even funny.

Measure A - turns county assessor from an elected to an appointed position.  Um... NO. Bad idea jeans.

Measure B - requires adult film stars to wear a condom.  Um... NO.  Who cares?  And why does the government?

Measure J - extends sales tax in L.A.  If you wonder how I'm voting on this one then you haven't been paying attention!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Voting with my pocketbook, thanks.

As you know if you read this blog at all, I am a big time proponent of the right for gays to marry whoever they want.  I would even say, if I were a cynic and if my marriage was shitty, that gay people should have every right to be just as miserable as the rest of us, only I'm a big believer in the institution and I happen to have a marriage that for the most part is pretty damn great.

So instead I have to just fall back on the old libertarian principle that the sovereignty and liberty of the individual is sacred.  Love who you want, live how you want, marry who you want.  It is un-American and frankly un-Republican, if you really know what the term republicanism in the United States means, to deny such a fundamental component to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, to anyone.

That said, I absolutely refuse to let this issue affect my choice in this presidential election.  Mostly because Obama, until a few months ago, was expressly as anti-gay marriage as Romney.  Actually, he was even MORE anti-gay marriage as Romney because he had been consistently opposed to it for his entire political career (including over 3 years of his presidency) whereas Romney at one time as a candidate for senate promoted himself as a proponent of gay rights.  As Governor of Massachusetts he was firmly against gay marriage but quickly came around on civil unions and was endorsed by the Massachusetts Log Cabin Republicans.

Secondly, it is on it's face absurd to say that this issue is a deal breaker for a presidential candidate.  Presidents don't make laws, they sign or veto them.  They appoint supreme court justices, but even the most strident conservatives on the bench today say that gay marriage should be decided with a ballot box and not an amendment.   A republican congress crafted it and Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage act into law, but what effect did it have really?  Many courts have overturned it, more and more states are legalizing gay marriage anyway.

Really, I believe this issue is a big loser for social conservatives, just as abortion is.  It's one of those things that in a few years everyone will wonder what all the fuss was about.

The military recently repealed it's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy.  Obama takes a lot of credit for it, but he actually had little to do with this change.  It was the Department of Defense itself that deemed the policy not only antiquated and disruptive, but ant-ethical to the principles of the US military in the first place.  Cadets at West Point are drilled relentlessly on the tenets of Code and Honor.  To have them encouraged to lie about who they are, that just doesn't wash.

And so it is with the majority of Americans, who apart from social conservatives, see this issue as a matter of people's own business and not the governments.

Those social conservatives, incidentally, as I have pointed out on this blog more than once before, include a big percentage of the African American population.  The vast majority of people in California who voted for Obama in 2008 also voted "yes" on Prop. 8.

So no, the righteous indignation of the gay folks on facebook who can't imagine why anyone would vote for Romney because he is a racist, sexist, homophobic baby-eater, don't really persuade me one bit.  If anything they make me like Romney more.

Obama made a campaign promise to end discrimination against gays in the military that he failed to keep in that he did very little other than proclaim his desire to see the end of DADT come to pass.  Kind of like his latest position on gay marriage - he's got the whole rainbow and unicorn thing going, but just because you click your heels and wish for it doesn't make it happen.

You can't legislate people's hearts, our country will embrace gay marriage at some point - but there is no quick fix, certainly not one a president can manufacture.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Started writing this last night... finished it off after Mitt's speech.

Feeling very inspired tonight.  Not going to heed the manic voices of fear and anger, even as they ramp up in a relentless cacophony with the approach of election day.

My favorite part of Ryan's speech at the RNC tonight...

"We believe that in every life there is goodness; for every person, there is hope.  Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the Lord of Life.  

We have responsibilities, one to another – we do not each face the world alone.  And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak.  The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves. 

Each of these great moral ideas is essential to democratic government – to the rule of law, to life in a humane and decent society.  They are the moral creed of our country, as powerful in our time, as on the day of America’s founding.  They are self-evident and unchanging, and sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government. "

A powerful, powerful - tour de force of words from an intellectual superstar that has been long overdue the Republican circles.  I pray that Ryan's compelling treatise will make a dent in the psyche of the undecideds.  I know the choir on the left could care less and will likely lash out at his words in the form of personal attacks, rather than addressing the issues he raises.

I also loved this quote...

"College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.”

The perfect answer for the "Julia-ization" wrought by the Obama administration.  A cradle to grave blanket of entitlement that in reality will stifle and suffocate the sovereignty of the individual while sapping the capital of the American public at large.

I was also blown away by this woman.  

Enthralling and awe inspiring.  And no teleprompter.  

This remarkable lady is one of my heroes, and here she speaks to everything that is wrong with the left's hateful war of fear and anger against the right.

"And on a personal note, a little girl grows up in Jim Crow Birmingham.  The segregated city of the south where her parents cannot take her to a movie theater or to restaurants, but they have convinced that even if she cannot have it hamburger at Woolworths, she can be the president of the United States if she wanted to be, and she becomes the secretary of state."

She is, in fact, a liberal's worst nightmare.  A thinking person of color, who was been confronted with the deepest and worst elements actual racism and has gone on to fully embrace the American dream - and in doing so has risen to one of the most powerful positions of leadership in the world.

Because she knows one inescapable fact...

"The essence of America, what really unites us, is not nationality or ethnicity or religion.  It is an idea. And what an idea it is.  That you can come from humble circumstances and you can do great things, that it does not matter where you came from, it matters where you are going.

My fellow Americans, ours has never been a narrative of grievance and entitlement.  We have never believed that I am doing poorly because you are doing well.  We have never been jealous of one another and never envious of each others' successes."

The attacks from left touting the "War against women" disgust me on so many levels, it's hard to  stay focused and articulate precisely what is wrong with them.  But to hear them, and then to hear Condi... there isn't much I need to say at all, really.

But I will anyway.  :)

Facebook has lately been a relentless slew of vitriolic articles from my friends, desperately trying to link first class Republican jackass, senate candidate Todd Akin, with the current GOP presidential candidate and his running mate.

This guy is a dumb shit and has been disavowed up and down by his own party, including most vociferously by Mitt Romney, who urged him to withdraw his candidacy immediately.

But he's just like Paul Ryan, according to the hearing and reading comprehension impaired democrats.


Saying you believe all unborn babies, including those conceived by rape or incest, are innocent is NOT the same as saying a woman's body will reject conception if she is "legitimately" raped. 

The former, whether you agree or not, is a legitimate point of view that is rooted in compassion for the unborn.  The latter is just sheer idiocy.

The first belief, has also been the GOP's party platform for 50 years.  The dems are uncovering nothing new here.  

The fact also is plain that a president cannot "make abortion illegal" as the shrill and infantile liberal super pac ads proclaim.

Romney and Ryan have both said flatly that regardless of their personal beliefs, they will respect how the courts rule on this matter.  It doesn't mean that they won't look to appoint conservative justices to the court, but men and women of the SCOTUS have a pesky habit of thinking for themselves.  G.W. Bush appointed two "conservatives", Souter and Roberts - and we all know how that worked out.

The main reason for the democrat's stubborn insistence on stupidly trying to link these entirely unrelated points of view is very simple.  

They lose if they talk about what Americans are most concerned about.  The economy and jobs.

They lose.


I am, at this point, so over the outrage and the bile, the refusal from the passionate voices on the left, to take their feet off the gas pedal of anger.  They are ignorant, they are childish, and they are tiresome.

But after these last few nights, I'm starting to feel a flicker of inspiration about Romney and Ryan.

After a parade of minority and female speakers at the RNC, most of which were omitted by MSNBC in their coverage - it has become more clear than ever to me, that the democrats aren't merely misguided in their accusations of racism and misogyny.   

They're fucking stupid.

They are so far off the mark it's not even funny.  And the loathing, the personal attacks that will surely escalate through the next two months, will only get more and more pathetic.  

It's sad, really.

Eschew the issues and make with the smears.  The rage.  The indignation.  The resentment.

All of these raw (and primitive) emotions are fueled, I know, by bewilderment at the conservative mindset which is typically happy and content.  Because we know we are right.  Not perfect, but most assuredly pretty much on the side of truth.

There is very little ambiguity in our morals, our choices, our view of the world at large.

America is exceptional.  Not a big deal, that's just the way it is.  We get that way because we put our trust in God, and charge our government with the duty protect us and insure our liberty.

In turn, our military keeps us free.  Yep.  Without them, the dogs of war would come for us and our throats would be slit in the night - quickly.  No great revelation there, just a fundamental truism.

God.  Family.  Country.  In that order.  Clear as crystal.

Meanwhile, adrift in a sea of moral relativism and ambiguity, liberals bang on their drums and play in the mud, smoke their weed and spew fury at us happy warriors.

Good luck with that y'all.  Just remember that the vast majority of Americans don't play that shit.  Some may buy into the rainbows and unicorns for awhile, but four long years later - there are many now who are coming out of the fog and recognizing that the next four years under Obama are very likely to get even worse.

And that, I have to say, is not a bad thing at all.  I predicted awhile back, that Barry would take this election pretty handily - but thanks to the never ending childish tantrums of his campaign, I think I was wrong.

This one is going to right down to the wire.  

Read more here:

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Masterful Game

I have often said here that I like my entertainment to be entertaining, that is, I don't need to see hyper realistic movies and tv shows - real life banalities don't interest me as much as going somewhere new.  If I wanted to spend my time after a long days work watching joyless suffering I would simply turn on the local news.  There's plenty of pointless misery in the real world, I have little use for subjecting myself to it by choice.

On the other side of the coin, there does have to be some commitment to reality in the shows I watch.  If a movie is too self-reverential or wink-wink, or if the story is too light and frothy, I'm taken out of the story.  A great example of grounding fantasy in truth is Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings.  Cinematically and to a large extent story-wise, his edict from the very beginning was not to make a fantasy film, but to make as realistic a depiction of Tolkien's world as possible.

This is a great way to approach every genre of film making, as it also harkens back to every actors fundamental credo - the search for truth.

Remember the Brady Bunch?  Robert Reed, who played the dad, used to drive everyone involved in the show bat-shit crazy, because he was always dogged and determined to find truth and reality in the characters and dialogue.  Sherwood Shwartz, the creator and EP, would shake his head and roll his eyes (I'm paraphrasing) - "Bob, it's just a television show!"  But Robert was adamant, about finding his motivation and making sense of the words that came out of his mouth.

As a result, if you watch those shows, especially the first season or so, his performance as a loving but firm dad of six, rings absolutely true and brings real power and emotional resonance to a show that was conceived and created primarily as silly escapism.

Anyway, the point I'm making here is - as much as I love explosions, dragons, pointless nudity, foul language, talking robots and so on; for a movie to really grab and enthrall me, it has to have a foundation of truth - both emotional and logical.

Lord of the Rings works on all the levels that I love, primarily because it is first and foremost about the characters and the story.   Effects, cinematography, stunts, and all the rest of the gravy is first rate, which really helps enthrall and take us to another world - but without the love in our hearts for Frodo and Sam and the rest of the gang, the whole enterprise would be like an empty sugary snack.  Delightful to look at and taste for a moment on the tongue, but soon altogether forgettable.

As a bonus, Lord of the Rings is entertainment that everyone from about 10 years old and up can enjoy.  It is deeply moral and righteous and tells it's story in a highly old fashioned and accessible way.  My little girl is now 8 and certainly old enough to handled the action and violence, but I'll probably wait a few more years before reading her The Hobbit simply so she can better appreciate the deeper themes therein.

The other side of this though is that Lord of the Rings, and other epic blockbuster series of movies that I love such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek, etc. etc. have to steer clear of the truly darker issues that infect our species.  Sure there is subtext, all of these franchises and especially Harry Potter delve quite a bit into realms of sexual politics and the moral quandaries of crime and punishment.   But of course nothing like this is ever dealt with directly, it is after all for kids.

Literature on the other hand for decades has often dug deep to explore the more primitive and base impulses of humanity.  The fantasy genre especially, of which I am by no means an expert, has of late been able to explore all the complexities, many of them exceedingly unpleasant, of the human being.

At the forefront has been George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" books.  Like a really good soap opera, but with dragons.  The books also are not shy about laying bare (literally) all facets of humanity.  I have not read them, but if they are at all like the HBO television series "Game of Thrones" (and I'm told they are) they are replete with explicit language, gore and sex.

Friends turned me on to the television adaptation, and from the first episode I have been deeply hooked. Strangely, the show is heavy with two of the things that I hate most in entertainment.  Children in peril and sexual violence against women.   Neither elements are explicit, for the most part - but the implied threat permeates just about every scene and line of dialogue.   Maybe it's because I'm a huge history guy, and the middle ages fascinate me so, that I am able to weather these ever-present potential calamities and enjoy the show so much.  Or maybe it's because the show, despite it's darker elements, is in the end deeply moral and even righteous.

Martin likes to say that all of his characters, even the most despicable ones, have enough shades of grey that we can't simply hate or love any of them.  I can buy this, but I can also see plainly that there are still good guys and bad guys, albeit more human ones.  Most importantly, because of the great writing (story and dialogue) I care very much about the characters I'm following, and when they falter or sin it resonates.

And yes, the show has dragons.  This takes me out of the real world just enough, that I never forget that I'm being entertained.  This, along with the shows fearlessness in tackling the murkier and strictly grown-up stuff, makes for a potent mix.

I never will dismiss family friendly entertainment - I hope The Hobbit is a smash hit and I can't wait for more Avatar adventures, but I have to say, this truly grown up stuff that HBO is serving up is awfully compelling.  Game of Thrones delves into the muck of greed and lust in a medieval setting, but by doing so gives this viewer a lot to chew on as it relates to the modern world and the struggles of power and politics that unfold globally and in our daily lives.

By exploring all facets of the human spectrum, including the profane, Game of Thrones reaches a level of power and resonance heretofore unseen (for the most part) in the genre of the fantastic.  The one recent exception to this I would say was the Battlestar Galactica remake, which also wasn't afraid to get down and dirty.  Not coincidentally, it was also my favorite tv show at the time.

I guess for such a stuck up conservative I really like my shows to be nasty after all!  But deep down I know that's not really the case. What I am drawn to is truth fueled by passion, and Game of Thrones has it in abundance.

I can't wait for season 3!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Blah blah blah... OUTRAGE!

So it seems a bunch of Secret Service agents as well as members of the US Military hired some hos down in Cartagggggena Columbia.  (Love saying Cartagena - remember Romancing the Stone?)

I for one am shocked, shocked, SHOCKED that men who have chosen a career that involves intensive training with firearms, international travel and intrigue, not to mention prestige and frequent high pressure situations at great personal risk at the highest possible stakes - would ever entertain the idea of meaningless sex with attractive (or at least not super ugly) women.

Let's get real and get a grip.

Anyone who doesn't know or who can't comprehend that this sort of thing has been going on in the Secret Service, FBI, CIA, NSA, military, etc. etc. etc. for decades on end is beyond naive.

Beyond that - this sort of behavior, from those in positions that involve soldiering and or body guarding or both - stretches back to time immemorial.   They don't call it the world's oldest profession for nothing, and the feigned outrage by our government and the media is fairly ridiculous.

But that has been the theme so far in these last six months of politics across the country.

Blah blah blah... War on women... blah blah blah... Obama eats dogs... blah blah blah... Romney hates cookies... blah blah blah...  OUTRAGE!

It is truly the time to be OUTRAGED, apparently.  Because it's not enough to try and focus on the stuff that actually matters, like our floundering economy and lack of jobs and a president who is so far over his head that it's not even funny.

That stuff is boring.

Secret Service members like to fuck strangers when they're overseas!  OMG!  OUTRAGE!


Quick personal story that helped me recognize the way of the world.

I was 27 years old and on my first major solo shoot for my company in Venezuela.

It was me and one other camera operator, we were covering a treasure hunt, 22 miles off the coast on a large ship.

The deep sea crew, about 10 of them, who maintained and operated an ROV (remote operating vehicle) that traveled deep into the ocean to search for wreckage, were a fun bunch of boisterous guys who enjoyed regaling the rest of us at meal time with extremely graphic tales of their sexual conquests with the working girls of Caracas the previous week.

In tandem with the crew, were the investors.  A half a dozen guys who were basically shmucks, but were rich.  They paid for the prostitutes in Caracas, as well as the entire expedition itself.  Both the crew and their benefactors enjoyed reminiscing about various activities, which often they were in the same room with each other to witness in the first place.

"Yeah, it was great getting our dicks sucked.  We should do it again when we get back."  one of the investors chimed in, clearly enjoying my wide eyed disbelief.

I have to admit, that I was pretty appalled at first.  Many of these were married men.  But I came to recognize pretty early on, in the way they talked about it, that this was absolutely not a big deal and fairly common for all of them in their travels across the world.

The master diver that commanded the ROV team was an enormous barrel chested man and ex-Navy seal.

He didn't talk much.  But others on the team told me stories about him.  These stories were not about sex, but just as graphic.  The master diver had excelled at killing men, often with his bare hands, for our country.  I had no doubt these stories were based on truth, but the men seemed to relish relaying them to me so much that I suspect that many of the details were added and/or embellished.

Regardless, upon meeting him, I had no doubt in my mind that the dive master was a genuine walking bad-ass.  Other men on the team, most of who, were also ex-military, admired him and obviously were trying their best to live up to him.

By the way, the master diver, I was told, did not join the men in their whore sharing exploits,

In any event - the point of all this, is not that I approve of boning prostitutes in mass quantities with other guys in the room, but that it was pretty evident that it is exceedingly common among men who fancy themselves as alphas.

The real alphas (the ones who are at the top of their game in military and or mercenary matters) I suspect, don't waste their time too much with booze, women and other vices.  But the ones who are driven to a life in pursuit of adrenaline without the talent and or drive to reach the apex of their chosen fields, are absolutely prone to excess, carnal and otherwise.

They want that high, that rush, be it from hurling their bodies in front of the president to take a bullet or hurling themselves on some crab infested hoochie south of the border.

It's not necessarily moral, right or even pleasant, but it's the way it is.  "Wheels up, rings off" is the expression that the Secret Service uses when they're abroad, and I suspect that all military and military-esque groups from the US as well as around the world, have similar sayings.

Hell, even in video and film production, there's a very old line...  "What goes on location, stays on location."  Referring mostly to the propensity for crew members to hook up when out of town or abroad (not so much the prostitution thing as far as I know).

So the point to all of this, and it applies not just to this recent prostitution "scandal" but across the political spectrum as well.

RELAX.  Save your phony outrage for something that matters, like the economy.   Or jobs.   I know it may be a slow news day, but after awhile all this righteous indignation begins to fade away as I tune it out.

A boy can cry wolf, or OUTRAGE, only so many times before it becomes meaningless.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Not much to say...

So the Treyvon Martin case...

It's clearly a tragedy and it's clearly a case that should go to trial.

It's also clear that it has been blown WAY out of proportion by the MSM and even by right wing media outlets.

Why?  The fact is, were Zimmerman black, no one would care.

Racialists and race baiters are delighting in this case; they are using it in a full court press to advance their own political causes and regressive world views on anyone they can.

Meanwhile they ignore the pervasive dysfunction in the African American community - namely black on black violence.

The numbers are shocking - While African Americans comprise 13.5% of the U.S. Population, 43% of all murder victims in 2007 were African American, 93.1% of whom were killed were African Americans.

And yet nobody seems to care, especially African American community "leaders" such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.


Someone asked me today if I was a fan of Ann Coultier.

I sighed and simply responded - "She's not helping..."

She is a loud mouthed demagogue who does way more damage to her cause than help.

I see Al Sharpton and other race bating extortionists like him in the same light.  Ostensibly they want peace, understanding and a better world - but they choose to treat the flames of discontent with gasoline.

They are not helping, they are hurting.

When Spike Lee tweets what he thinks is the home address of George Zimmerman, he apologizes only when it appears that he sent out the wrong address.

Really?   As if it would be okay if it was Zimmerman's home.

Him and others like him are happy to stay silent on the 50% drop out rate of African Americans in our schools, the 40% prison population rate  of African Americans and the mind-blowing 72% of African American babies that are born out of wedlock.

Me - I'll go along with Bill Cosby thanks.

He rambles a bit, but you get the point.

Accountability and responsibility - two of my favorite words and much more likely to get me to get concerned and get involved.

As it is, when knuckleheads like these get involved...

I'm inclined to shrug my shoulders, give a big middle finger and get back to stuff that I care about.

Not much to say at that point - or after relentless, unending coverage of the Martin / Zimmerman case.
In fact, I'm inclined to say the same thing about this case as what most African American leaders say about black on black violence - which is nothing.

Don't care.  And I don't lose a wink of sleep over it.

Friday, March 02, 2012

A bit much.

As you probably know, I'm a pro-choice, pro-birth control kinda guy.   I abhor abortions, but in the long run we have less of them if we keep it safe and legal.  Look anywhere in the third world and you can see this, especially in South America -  mostly Catholic countries with a fraction of our population and twice as many abortions despite the practice being widely illegal.

As for birth control, it is simply a practical necessity these days with modern human beings.  We no longer need to have 9 kids so 6 of them can survive and work in the fields.  I find it pretty absurd that religious types try to impose their bizarre and backwards view of sexual health on the rest of us, even more ridiculous is the bible thumping elements in the GOP (you know, the party of smaller and less intrusive government) sticking their noses into our bedrooms.

That said, I have to admit this was pretty incredible to watch...

Uh, huh.



I am, truly speechless.


Okay, after reflecting a bit I have a couple of thoughts.

Rush Limbaugh went on the air shortly after this and called Sandra a "slut" and a "prostitute".  Whatever, like that's the worst thing he could say.  Who cares?  Aren't we all human beings who enjoy sex?  Albeit not all of us enjoy it with lots of different random people, as the lame word "slut" implies. Such a dreadful word, only because it has such a negative double standard against women, that is firstly because it is super negative against only women who are promiscuous.  There is no equivalent term for a man.  And second, because having sex can often be a very positive thing and is also very important to living healthy.

But what a stupid thing for RL to say about this porridge brained idiot; her sex drive has nothing to do with her stance.  It's her smug, privileged and decadent self of entitlement that boggles my mind.  Really?  You want congress to pay for your birth control?  Are you kidding me?   And the absurd part of the video - that young women are being shamed at campuses across the country when they realize that their insurance doesn't cover the pill?    So they can't go home and bone away?  They have to cough up big bucks (about a dollar) for a condom?   (Which she should be using anyway to cut down on the chance of catching something.)  Absolutely absurd.

Look.  I'm all in favor of women's rights and women's health care, but there has to be some responsibility and some accountability.   Sex is wonderful, sex is fantastic, sex feels good.  But sex also has consequences if done recklessly and/or in excess.  If you are old enough to be having sex, you need to be old enough to step up and be responsible for what happens afterwards - be it all manner of STD's or pregnancy.  It is not up to your mommy and daddy (that would be the government) to give you a free pass to fuck.

And I think that's what many on the left who are pro-choice get confused about.  They can't grasp that many taxpayers (though not necessarily me) are very offended by a white and privileged dunce like Sandra being indignant about not getting her license to bump uglies with some random drunk at a frat party.  Because that's what this incredibly stupid speech implies from the outset.   And I guess I can see why RL would take it a step further and make a moral judgement on Sandra's character.  I don't really agree with it, but if you have any bit of understanding of people who have different moral standards (that is, they actually have some) then you can at least see where they're coming from.  I can anyway.

So then, whatever, Limbaugh's a blow-hard, who cares.  But our President decides to go on television and call him out!  What a joke.

Why legitimize Rush?  Not very presidential.  I guess he thinks it's a political opportunity that was handed to him on a silver platter - but to me the President's acknowledgement of Rush as highly influential along with the fact that Rush clearly struck a nerve with Obama, just makes it seem as though the left might actually be on the wrong side of this young woman's character after all.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


So this is the story the media is selling -

NATO soldiers (yeah, that would be Americans) discover that terrorist prisoners are writing in their US taxpayer dollar funded Korans, so they can communicate with each other and possibly plan dastardly deeds.

So the soldiers confiscate the Korans, and in not wanting to do the wrong thing they research how to properly dispose of a Koran that has been desecrated.  Yes, by definition, if you scribble in a Koran you have desecrated it.

So it turns out that the way all the Muslim experts say you should dispose of a desecrated Koran is to burn it.  Okay, fine, so the soldiers do it.

Some locals promptly discover the charred remains and proceed to go batshit crazy.   I know, what a shocker.

In the space of a few days 2 US soldiers are killed, a dozen Afghan citizens as well and as I write this a story just now has broken about 2 more US "advisors" being shot dead inside the Afghan ministry.


In the midst of this, our president sends a letter of apology to Karzi, which whips the nutballs into an even greater frenzy of rage.

Note to the POTUS - Saying sorry to crazy terrorist assholes just makes them madder.  They view it as weak and patronizing.

But then again, some kinds of apologies are the good kind.  Witness this heroic young lady.

Now that's the kind of apology I'm talking about.

These assholes can't handle a couple of books being burned.  Seriously, that's what all this insanity is about, a couple of books.

So they're sacred.  So what.  Deal with it.  The rest of us have to contend with works of art like "Piss Christ" and so on. Somehow we manage not to slaughter people and burn down the city.

Speaking of slaughter, how about that Syria.  Civilians butchered in the streets, and we do nothing.  

Now that's leadership.  

Maybe we should apologize.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Movies 2011

It was a pretty good year for movies, less so for films.

If you've missed my treatise on movies vs. films, you can educate yourself by reading the first few paragraphs here.

Also keep in mind, when I was in my 20's I pretty much saw every movie that came out every year.  Now in my 40's I see hardly any by comparison.

I'm going to do it a little different this year, because none of the movies that made my top ten are best picture nominees, but the ones I did see I liked.  I'll start with them first.

Here are the Oscar nominees for best picture that I've seen this year and my thoughts on each:

The Artist  

An interesting and truly nostalgic look at the movies with a melodramatic story about the passage of time and the passing on of a legend.  I liked it very much.  I do not think it deserves to win best picture, which naturally makes it a lock.

It was shot amazingly - the cinematography and style of shooting are authentic 1930's, and also to some extent the 1920's.  As a movie nut, I could appreciate what the director and DOP were trying to do - and they largely succeeded.

Speaking of movie nuts - 


I had very low expectations for this, from my movie business friends, (a writer, a film mixer, and several editors) who said it was slow (the writer said it was "ponderous") but because I didn't think it would be good - I actually enjoyed it quite a bit.

The story of the boy and the girl works very well, as does the station cop and his love interest arc.  Less so, the Ben Kingsley character, who is based on real life film pioneer Georges Melies.

Unlike the Artist, which connects emotionally by showing and not telling us old school movie magic, Scorcese fails to convey to those of us who aren't film nuts, what was so special about this guy and his art.  The flashback scenes at his studio are simply flat and magic-less.

Still, overall, the movie does work; though the glacial pacing does rub my modern movie watching sensibilities the wrong way at times, the little boy and girl are so good in their roles that there is enough resonance and hope to keep me engaged.


This movie has great moments and great acting, but loses it's footing a bit in the last act when it veers away from actual baseball footage and shows actors playing the game.

But don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed Moneyball and want very much to see it again.  It felt more than any other sports movie, that we were truly "inside baseball" - especially fantastic and an all time highlight for me was the first scene with Billy and all the scouts.  They nailed the essence of the sport, and the conflict between new and old, with those great character actors and Brad Pitt.  Simply awesome.

War Horse

I don't get the hate for this movie among film geeks.  I enjoyed it very much - as it was (as is The Artist and Hugo) very much an old fashioned movie.

This was not Private Ryan or Schindler's list, a realistic depiction of the horrors of war - rather it was a David Lean style movie - touching on themes of loss and redemption.  The music was at times overbearing, and yes, Spielberg tried a little too hard to get me to cry - but hey, I'm older now and so I cry pretty easy.  It had some great stand out scenes that I know I'll want to revisit.

And that's it.  I still want to see "The Help", "Tree of Life" and the Tom Hanks 9/11 crying thing, but I doubt very much that any of these films can knock one of these movies out of my top 10 for 2011.

10.  The Adventures of Tintin

Fraught with story problems, this movie is nonetheless a very faithful adaptation of the Tintin graphic novels.  As a HUGE Tintin fan (I grew up with all the books) I loved this movie.  Objectively, I can't tell you if it is really any good - it seemed like it was, but mostly I just felt like a giddy 12 year old again watching Captain Haddock come to life before my eyes.  My 7 year old was mostly bored, but she loved Snowy.

9.  Bridesmaids

Not only hilarious, but a pretty deep movie.  While the gross out scenarios and over the top zaniness are not especially realistic, the emotions and fears of the lead girl certainly are.  Kristin Wiig is amazing, and manages to let us see her heart and mind stripped bare.  And by sharing her fears and insecurities, we can get a lot of insight into our own.

8.  Captain America: The First Avenger

Oh hells yes.  Director Joe Johnston meekly proclaimed half way through production that this Captain was not some jingoist flag waver - a statement that immediately turned me off and made me sad.

Thankfully, because the story stayed true to the character - Johnston has (in spite of his liberal weenie-ness) in fact delivered us an unapologetically patriotic Captain and a kick ass movie along with it.

Great action set pieces, offset with humor that works throughout.   Outstanding turn by the female lead (though a bit silly to see her in combat at the end) who brings real emotional weight to her love of Steve Rogers and the uniform he wears.

Best dialogue exchange:   

Red Skull: I see a future without flags.

Captain America:  Not my future

Now that's what I'm talking about!

7.  Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Bay returns to form with more big ass 'splosions and stuff.  

Pure movie awesomeness.  Love the third act which blows the walls off and sets a new bar for the action set piece.  Great moments throughout, a story we can follow, and Michael Bay finally realizes that by keeping the Deceptacons grey/silver and the Autobots brightly colored, we can much better follow who is blowing up who.

6.   Rango

Amazing art from Gore Verbinski and his team.

This animated film rises above most of it's kind - by being not only gorgeously realized, but emotionally resonant.  We feel and care for Rango from the beginning, and we are intrigued by the characters he meets along the way.  Even though the final act is the weakest, it's still strong enough for a very satisfying movie experience.

My 7 year old loves it.  Any younger (or less mature than she is) is too young.  Save this one till they can handle big and scary action set pieces - including 2 relentless pursuits by a hawk, a massive chase / shoot-out with covered wagons and bats and a very scary ginormous rattle snake that says several times that he's going to send Rango to hell.

5.  Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Now this is some cool shit.

Very awesome CGI / motion-capture work bring the apes to life in a way that was certainly impossible only a couple of years ago.

James Franco is the perfect choice for a role that we can appreciate with both sympathy for his good intentions and scorn for his naivete'.

The action is simply breathtaking, and better yet, the heartache we feel for the apes and the sadness at our own failings as a species - mingle perfectly to create a fantastic moviegoing experience that does indeed recapture some of that magic from the first Apes movie.

I can't wait to see where they go from here.

4.  Soul Surfer

Being a person who has a deep faith, this was a breath of fresh air.

Beautifully shot and realized, this is the true story of surfer Bethany Hamilton.  A girl from Hawaii who was on the path to being a professional surfer when her arm was ripped off her body by an enormous shark.

This girl also happens to be a practicing Christian, and the movie actually DOESN'T downplay this fact.  

By telling her entire story, of which her faith is a HUGE part, Soul Surfer makes the ordeal that Bethany faces and triumphs over, a very powerful and satisfying journey.

There were a few choices I wasn't crazy about - I thought there was too much voice over; the scenes that worked best were when AnnaSophia Robb (the lead) simply did her thing and lived the character - then we really got the full emotional and spiritual thrust of who this girl was.

I was taken out of the movie every time her voice would narrate precisely what she was up against.  Hey film makers, I'm not stupid!  It's very obvious that when Bethany goes to help the tsunami victims in Thailand, and teaches a little kid to surf - that she's following God's plan.  I don't need to hear her  literally say it!

Still, overall the movie is super strong - especially the end when we see the real Bethany.  Can't wait to find some time to watch the documentary on her life.

3.  The Muppets

Not perfect, but mostly it recaptures the magic.

Again, as with Tintin, I'm a huge fan - so objectively I can't tell you if this movie works.  But if you love the Muppet show and the Muppet movie, then this is an absolute must see.  Great songs and even better, a great connection to our old friends.

2.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 2

Simply outstanding.  As with Tolkien, Rowling is at her strongest when paying off the story.  Much as Return of the King is my favorite Lord of the Rings episode, this final chapter has to be my favorite of the Harry Potter world.

For the third time I must say, I'm a HUGE fan.  So who knows if this movie is actually any good, and you might as well ignore the following nerd speak.

The brilliant - the battle of Hogwarts.  Snapes death and the pensieve. The epilogue.

The great - the dragon escape.  Hermione as Bellatrix.

The good - Ableforth.   The kiss.  Fred's death.

The fair - Rowena Ravenclaw.

The clumsy - Bellatrix's demise.  Way underdone and awkward.

1.  Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

Picking number one is always tough, but this year it was pretty clear cut.  M:IGP was simply my most satisfying movie going experience of the year.   Great fucking film.

It had all the best elements of the past 3 movies, a complicated but coherent story, great gags, and a highly motivated protagonist.   

Best of all, it pulls of what many movies on this list couldn't - a completely solid final act and brilliant payoff.

Great stuff!

Honorable Mentions:


Fantastic animated fare that soars above most because we are genuinely invested in the lead bird's journey.  Yes, this damn movie makes me cry in the end.  Also, it surprisingly does touch on how awful the poverty in Brazil is, while still being an obvious love letter to the country. 

X-Men First Class

Much better than the problematic "Last Stand".  Some truly awesome moments; hopefully the next installment will up the game and bring us characters we can truly bond with.  I'm a little hesitant to dive in on this series since we got so burned on the last one.

Puss in Boots

Yes, I'm a sucker for good animation and a good story.  Fun and frothy, but also plenty of heart.


I want to see this again - very dense mythological story stuff that flew over my head a bit.  I never read the comic so I'm unfamiliar with the mythology, and this kind of cooled me off a bit from going ga-ga.  Now if I had been a HUGE fan, I'll betcha I would've loved it.  There's plenty of humor and heart in this equation, well worth a rental if you're like me and only a super hero fan and not a Thor fan.


Very strong first half, this was shaping up to be a perfect movie, but the denouement' was a bit of a let down.

Cate Blanchett's character is, in the end, simply evil.  I thought a much stronger choice would have been to make her very complicated, and somewhat justified in her actions.  Instead, she's just a sicko.  Meh.   And the clumsy scene at the end with the deer, simply lame.

I did love the bad guy and his henchmen - very nasty and bad.  Yep, that family basically gets wiped out if you think about it.  Chills.

Super 8

Really enjoyed this solid and nostalgic monster movie.  Wish it had taken me higher emotionally, but still very solid.  Suffered a bit from my high expectations, I had a couple of friends who are over the moon about this.  Yes, I get it, the movie reminds us of our childhood - that's cool.  Problem is, the story needs to be stronger.

Let Downs

And finally, here are a few where I was disappointed, but still found a few redeeming things.

Sucker Punch

Okay, Zach Snyder is a hack.  He's proved it to me after an uneven Watchmen and now this mess.   300 looks more and more like a brilliant accident.

The main problem with this emotionless fluff, is the bleakness for no reason, and the utter lack of character in the characters.  Flat and lifeless, despite the gorgeous framing and FX.   Still, I want to watch it again.

Pirates of the Caribbean 4

After Verbinski's brilliant first Pirate movie, and the two worthy follow ups - this is a pretty big let down.  

How can you have Ian McShane playing Blackbeard and make it boring?   Rob Marshall found a way.

The mermaids are awesome - but it takes an hour to get to them.  Meanwhile, Jack Sparrow is rudderless without an Elizabeth Swan to motivate him.  Penelope Cruz's character is a pale substitute.

I enjoyed the missionary story line and appreciated the fate of the fountain of youth.  I also loved the location shooting - if there's one thing that this movie has going for it, it absolutely feels like it's set in the same universe as the Verbinski tales.

Overall, at the end of the day, it's a purchase - but suffers in comparison to the first three.

Kung Fu Panda 2

This one is actually a lot of fun and good story telling, but because the first one was so brilliant it inevitably suffers in comparison.

Saw it in the theaters with my 7 year old who liked but didn't love it (a little intense for her) and bought the blu-ray; but haven't watched it again yet.

Cars 2

The inevitable fall from grace for Pixar is actually a pretty darn good movie on it's own - but when you hold it up to it's pedigree, well, this simply doesn't cut it.

I like that it's a completely different direction from the first one, and a send up of James Bond - very cool.  But Mater simply cannot carry a movie, though the payoff for his character when it finally does come, is actually pretty good.

Pretty good.  Pixar.  Mmmmmm....   no.

So there it is, overall I had a good time at the movies this year,but I'm sad to say that I didn't catch any "films" that were truly great.  Last year I had "True Grit", but this year, pretty much zip.  Ah well.  Looking forward to 2012 at the movies!