Friday, March 2, 2018

The 15:17 To Paris

Wow... It's been 10 days since my last post. Sorry... I got busy... kinda

We all remember that incident that took place in France, when three young American men took down a terrorist on a train? Yeah... That's what this is about.

It's kind of a risky venture for Clint Eastwood to put together. Seriously, how do you produce a full length feature about an incident that only lasted a few minutes? It's a recipe for suck.

Or is it?

15:17 To Paris isn't so much about those fateful few minutes that brought these young men to fame. It's about normal, everyday friends, three young people, finding their way in the world... their failures and successes along the way... and what brought them to 'be there' when that moment arrived.

It's a lesson that we can learn, and most likely, many of us have... because it's been demonstrated already...

Every American knows about Flight #whatever, on 9/11, when the passengers stepped up...
This is the same story, with a different ending...
But the story is still the same.
It is, and will be, a lesson and inspiration to every American (and some non-Americans)... to 'step up'...
seize that moment...
do not cower... 

It's about finding heroism in everyday people.
The film itself isn't boring, but not that engaging either...
Til the 'moment' occurs...
And that moment is messy, complicated, and gripping.
It is depicted as it happened.

Three American dudes... being American dudes...meeting their moment... and matching it.
They made America proud... just because they were who they were. Americans! We are like that.. they didnt come from Canada... right?
Canada is a pussy nation.
Manliness is frowned upon.. that why they elected Justin as their leader...

Clint Eastwood took a huge gamble by casting the real life people to play themselves (Anthony
Sadler, Alek Skarletos, Spencer Stone.)
They are not actors, and it shows. If you are looking for 'actor' type performances, it's not here.
But maybe you can respect three young, American men portraying themselves as three, young American men?... there is a real-world realism here. They are not actors. They are not acting.
I appreciated that.
It works here.

If you haven't seen this movie yet, I strongly recommend it.
It is unique, from a movie-craft sense...
and it is unique in it's depiction of normal people doing hero-type stuff, not because they wanted to, ...they did it  because they were there...
 being who they are.
We can all be heroes, if we do what is right.

Grab the moment.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Viva Trump!

So, Mueller  has decided to indict 13 Russians for 'meddling' in our democracy.

What's new here? The Kremlin has been meddling in American politics since the 1950's and probably sooner than that.
It's not even open for debate.

This is a fig-leaf. Mueller is trying to provide cover for his lack of manhood.
Everybody knows that none of these indicted will ever see a courtroom.

Meanwhile, it's already known that real collusion with foreign forces happened with the Clinton campaign.

It is also known, that real meddling in our democracy was performed by the Obama administration in concert with the FBI and the Clinton campaign.
There won't be any indictments there, though.
The FBI isn't about justice.
It's about politics.

And...Mueller is nothing more than a low-level Cuck.. but as long as he's getting a paycheck... what difference does it make?

Friday, February 16, 2018

Thoughts On The Week

-It's been an interesting week. I don't want to talk too much about that school shooting in Florida. Much has already been said, and too much will still be said as partisans point fingers at each other...
And nothing will change.

-One thing I do know, is that things like this touch you more when it touches your family.
My cousin's daughter was in that school as the shit was going down, and the perp was captured 1/2 block from my cousin's house. We talked last night. He's a bit shook up, of course, but grateful his daughter was now home and safe after spending a couple hours hiding in a closet.

-And, now it comes out that the FBI was tipped to this shooter guy, and they couldn't find him? This is bullshit. The FBI can find anybody they want. I can find almost anybody I want, with 1/10th of their resources. They did not want to. Maybe they were too busy trying frame President Trump?

-We've been told since 9/11. "If you see something, say something." It isn't 'we' who are guilty.  The Feds could have stopped this guy. They did not. It wasn't a failure on their part. It was lack of will.

-You've all seen the official portrait of President Obama. Did you laugh out loud, too?
Portrait-wise, the artist did a good good job. It looks like him, but those hands are just too big.

Add, that the artist inserted his trademark sperm cell onto The President's forehead... against the backdrop of Wrigley Field (I thought he was a White Sox fan...)... and the whole thing just seems kinda silly. It's not dignified. Not at all.

Worse thing yet, President Obama chose this artist.
His final act as President.
How fitting that he, alone, got the 'happy ending' .

-That Michelle Obama portrait?
It doesn't look like her at all. That face is lacking in personal detail, and could easily represent 50% of the Black female population. (Maybe the artist thinks that they all look alike?)

I've seen faces on toast that look more like Michelle than this.

The arms,hands and fingers look like they came from an orangutan. Seriously. Look again?

I believe Michelle chose her portrait painter, as well.
But, hey... at least she doesn't have sperm on her forehead. She kept her dignity, if it's really her.

-I saw Twelve Alone. It's a good movie, really well put-together without too much suspension of belief. That's about all I can say about it. There wasn't much acting involved. Not much of a 'story'. Played like a documentary more times than not. Not much to critique when not much is offered. Go see it. It is worth well the ticket price,

-Donald Trump spent many years promoting himself as a Playboy billionaire. We all know this.
Did he bang the porn star? Who cares? It's a porn star. It's what they do.
It's not like he used his status to take advantage of/abuse a starry-eyed intern, or the White House secretary pool.

-Both of you may have noticed... I'm making an attempt to blog more often. Fact is, after all I've been through, and still going through... I sought some guidance from an expert.
He's a cool dude, more like me than I am like him.
We click, and... I recently used my expertise to unite him with his long-lost younger brother...that he spent 11 plus years looking for.

-"You can do this?" ... watch me work....

-Yeah... he thinks I'm kinda cool right now.

He advised me to resume blogging, to keep my mind straight... a discipline... take the time to do something that does not benefit anybody else. Take the time, to be you, for you.

"You have spent too much time being what others needed you to be... for them. You see the issue here?"

-He's asking questions that I do not want to answer.  He's also providing answers to questions that I didn't realize were there.

- I take care of my own yard, and change my own oil. Most people pay others to do the most basic things of life for them. They might look down upon me for talking to somebody... but, at least I'm capable, and willing, to change my oil and take care of my yard, without hired help.

-most of all... I'm willing to admit that I sought help/guidance in times of trouble... I didn't pay somebody to make shit right in other peoples' eyes. I'm paying somebody to help me be right with myself. My life, and my eyes, are all that matters to me. I don't give a fuck what you think. I never should have.

Monday, February 12, 2018

America's Wisest Wise Man

Victor Davis Hanson calls out the entire Republican establishment, playing St. Peter at the Pearly Gates reading off their list of sins.

And then takes a hard shot at George W Bush:

George W. Bush, a good man without malice, nonetheless last week illustrated why Donald Trump is president.
While in Dubai, Bush criticized the Trump Administration’s lack of progress on immigration reform. Then he weirdly noted, “Americans don’t want to pick cotton at 105 degrees, but there are people who want to put food on their family’s tables and are willing to do that.”
Where to start when Republican elites confirm their own stereotypes?
First, Republicans should agree with Churchill’s dictum about the inadvisability of criticizing one’s government while in a foreign country: “When I am abroad I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the Government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home.” Bush repeatedly followed that guidance when he insisted that he would not attack Barack Obama—even at home. But not now.
Second, Bush is far more critical of Trump’s efforts to reach a compromise on DACA and border security than he was of Barack Obama’s illegal and politically expedient 2012 pre-reelection executive order nullifying immigration law and enforcement. Whether he intended it or not, Bush’s “woke” emergence as a megaphone after eight years of hibernation, confirms the impression that Republican elites were always much closer in spirit to their Democratic counterparts than they were to their own so-called grassroots conservative base. Translated, they mildly were displeased with the Obama agenda, but loathe Trump’s.
Third, how incoherent were Bush’s cotton-picking riffs! (He may not have realized it, but Bush put a 21st-century spin on 19th-century plantation owners’ pleas that they needed imported chattel African labor because American workers were neither acclimatized to heat nor inexpensive enough to pick cotton in scorching Southern temperatures). Bush substantiated the stereotype of crass corporate concern (note the inadvertent contempt in “willing to do that”) that trumps both the law and the idea of promoting the wages of U.S. entry-level workers—as well as general popular cluelessness about illegal immigration in general.

I disagree that Bush was a man without malice.
His policies toward illegal immigration inflicted a lot of malice upon my class of people, and furthermore, he saw fit to insult us when we complained about it.
But the rest is spot on. This Hanson guy... seems to be the only one who 'gets' anything at all sometimes.

But he didn't stop there. He correctly calls out the NeverTrumpers as hypocrites:

The Trump catharsis has shown that about 10 percent of the Republican Party, the NeverTrumpers, was largely apolitical. That is, former cornerstone positions of deregulation and tax reform, oil and gas production, charter schools, deterrent foreign policy, restoring friendship with Israel and moving the embassy to Jerusalem were apparently always secondary to the more important criterion of offering a mild, sober and judicious frown to progressivism, through discerning losers like George H.W. Bush, John McCain, or Mitt Romney.
Such a Republican elite was so embedded within American establishment institutions as to be both immune from the economic stagnation of an Obama neo-socialist revolution (remember income inequality soared under Obama) and in no real need of a Reagan revolution or Trump’s often messy radical push-back against progressivism.
Its creed was not really, as advertised, the ethics of “losing nobly is better than winning ugly,” but rather the snobbery of “losing a cultural image is worse than winning a political agenda.” Put more bluntly, it is better to put up with a socialist with a “perfectly creased pant” than a prairie-fire conservative in rumpled Walmart slacks.
 Victor Davis Hanson may never be allowed to write for National Review again after these remarks.

Read the whole thing. There's a lot there.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Den Of Thieves

It is common for Hollywood to insert local Los Angeles scenes, landmarks and various other references to the local region in their projects. It was always the other side of Los Angeles, though. The side that was never a part of my Los Angeles existence.. minus the occasional gangster/ghetto flick set in Compton/South Central.
As a matter of fact, the 'local' news networks never covered anything that was local to me. We basically didn't much exist.
Out of sight, out mind, as they say.

And that is basically how the people at the business end of Los Angeles' wealth and glitter scene viewed  anything south of the wretched Imperial Highway Corridor. In actuality, once you survive passing through that corridor, things get a little cleaner... and much cleaner as you pass further toward the Palos Verdes Peninsula, with it's 2-3 million dollar homes.

The Imperial Highway Corridor intersects with what is known as the Harbor Gateway Corridor, along I-110 (known as The Harbor Freeway), ending at the Port of Los Angeles.

The region trapped against the coast by these two corridors of suckage is called The South Bay. It's a different scene, a different mix of cultures, creating a separate identity due it's cultural isolation from what most people think of as Los Angeles. Part of The South Bay also includes a few localities more culturally and politically associated with what is called South Los Angeles. The communities of South Los Angeles contain a lot of suckage.
It is in this world where I grew up, in the City of Gardena, that straddled the  nicer South Bay and less so, Harbor Gateway to the east and Imperial Corridor to the north.
On the map to the right >>> My home was located where the 'n' and the 'a' meet in 'Gardena'. (Clicking on the map makes it bigger.)

Needless to say, I, like most from Gardena, preferred to look westward when it came time to leave the house. I spent most of my life after age 15 (when I acquired motorized transportation) in the land that lay west. (you would have, also).

Never have I seen a movie that was scripted, set, and filmed almost entirely in the isolated land that I had spent the first half of my life stomping through. And this is where Den Of Thieves got my attention, in the very first scene, showing the Gardena Memorial Hospital and the Hustler Casino... both of which are 4-5 blocks from my childhood home, that my mom still occupies.

Enough background... on to the film...
Gerard Butler plays Detective Nick o'brian, who leads of rough and tough crew of street detectives monitoring a crew of well-organised and clever thieves who have been robbing banks.
They set their sights on a grand prize, the local Federal Reserve... the bank to the banks.

Several of the plot twists along the way, as some of the characters are developed, might leave one scratching their head... but all come together toward the end, as the thieves and detectives attempt to outwit each other, ending in a shootout worthy of  "Heat" while stuck in that all-to-familiar South bay phenomenom: a traffic jam where you least expect it!

Props to the creator of this film, Christian Gudegast, for making this so real. All the references to the local scene are here, from South Bay only slang terms, tattoo styles, the mix of ethnics (yes, Samoans are a real presence here), a vague reference (simply 'Harbor') to the county hospital/trauma center (where you go after you been shot), even a remark about the ethnic make-up of a high school football team vs another (from a school where I had a lot of friends from).

Go see it. It's a good movie.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

"All Babies Are Gerber Babies"

At least they are, now...

When we were expecting our kids we voluntarily had what ever neo-natal screening was available. I know they checked for Spina Bifida. They probably screened for Downs, too.

Our intent was to be fully prepared for whatever special needs the Lord was going to be blessing us with.

Unfortunately, too many people don't think like we did... and those who test positive were, and still are, aborted.

As it stands today, somewhere over 90% of American babies with Downs are aborted.

Thank you Gerber, for making Downs babies our babies, again.
More at the link.

Saturday, February 3, 2018


Hey, look... It's another movie critique!
What the??
Yeah, I know...
It's been a while since I offered one up.
It's been a while since I'd seen a movie.
A couple years, I think. Maybe longer. I just didn't like all the comic book type fare Hollywood was producing and I decided to boycott.

After years of slumber, I looked up to find...
Wow!, the creative class has started creating again.
There are some good films out there at the moment.

Had a much needed 'Mom date' today, and took the old lady to the movies. She likes Westerns. Okay, enough of about me..
On to what matters...

Hostiles is a story based upon a soon-retiring Calvary officer (a decades-long, seasoned and bloodied veteran of the Indian Wars) being ordered to safely return an aging and dying Chief (a personal nemesis), to spend his last moments in his ancestral lands.

This is not a match made on earth. Both  men hate each other. For very honest reasons. And this is where the honesty of the story ends.

80% of what happens next, is total, fucking, bull shit.

Along the way. they encounter hostiles of their own, they fight against them... yadda yadda,
The aged, murderous Indian (who is presented as gentle and brave) is wiser and more sincere than his hateful, bigotted White enemy... more yadda...

NOW you can see where the Hollywood crowd totally loves this movie.

In a latter scene, this group of noble Indian prisoners ally with their 'woke' White captors... to fend off a crew of Indian hating White men... and this is where the film totally lost me.
As a former bondsman, I have received some small amount of training as to how to react/defend when facing a hostile man, or four... It's called Tactical Training.

I'm sitting there... like... what the fuck are you doing???? You're all gonna die... you're asking for it!

Keep in mind... this band of now-brothers is led by a seasoned Indian war chief, and a highly successful and bloodied, 25 year veteran Calvary Officer... these are not combat stooges.
Yet, there they are... totally stooged out.
The movie ended for me in that moment.
Yeah, the film rolled for another 15-20 minutes or so... but I wasn't even in the room anymore. Could no longer suspend belief for the sake of  escapism...Not emotionally/intellectually, anyway.

I'm talkin... 'Bondsman 101' here..., pretty basic stuff ...

Until this moment, I was willing to forgive some of of the plot induced 'head scratchers' (what was that? i'm not sure... yeah, those moments)

"The best western since 'Unforgiven' " Hollywood tells us... I guess nobody in Hollywood saw '3:10 To Yuma', which I have favorably reviewed on these same blog pages.

On to performances...

Christian Bale was pretty awesome here. He is a real actor. . I thought he delivered his complex character pretty well... but toward the end... would have been nice if his facial expression changed somewhat. I don't blame him. He's an employee, following his director's  direction. The Director failed him. Myself... I would totally enjoy being who he was here...

Wes Studi was splendid playing the role of Wes Studi. This dude has one role in Hollywood, and he nailed his one role perfectly... for the umpteenth time... 'Mailing it in' is easy to do when it's the only letter you write.

Everybody else could have been played by... anybody else... This is a not a deep film.

Two weeks ago, I saw a direct-to-video Western on HBO.
"In A Valley Of Violence" is a fine Western of the old school, with good acting from Ethan Hawke and (surprise!) John Travolta.
Look that one up.
You'll thank me