There's this common myth that Air Rifles ("BB Guns" or "Pellet Guns") are toys, however, while they don't have quite the velocity of our top of the line modern rifles, they easily exceed black powder rifles that brought down buffalo and won the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. People hunt Buffalo and Elk with them, and they have no problem going through humans. Fortunately, since the gun-ignorant don't understand their threat, they aren't highly regulated (one last bastion of liberty, for now), and mass shootings and crimes are usually committed with gunpowder-based weapons. Which makes them especially popular in countries/place with hoplophobia.
Anyone that says any variant of "Just ban assault rifles", "no one should own military grade weapons", or "it's not all guns, just these killing machines" shows they are completely ignorant about assault rifles, or bans. This article breaks down why you can't ban "Assault Rifles", and why it would be moronic to try.
I work with both Google and Apple, and so I get to use both their hardware -- and I'm an opinionated agnostic: I just want things that work well (for me). So the other day I got a Pixelbook on an incredible discount, which Google had someone deliver to my house (same day, with 30 minutes of setup help): an incredible customer experience. As a long time techie, I'm a bit of a power user, and while I've only had the Pixelbook for a little while (iOS for 10 years), my quick assessment is the Pixelbook is better than an iPad but worse than a MacBook, with a ton of caveats. The iPad rules in App selection, single app workflows, as well as consistency with iOS and integration with Apple's other devices and ecosystem. Since I have an iPhone and MacBook Pro, I'll still use the iPad more often. But as soon as you want to work in multi-app workflows, use the keyboard/trackpad, browse or use it as a laptop replacement, the Pixelbook dominates. But if you really want to get work done -- then my MacBook Pro is still my go to device.
While there's no single cause for more/bigger/fires, there are many cumulative ones -- and virtually all of them made California worse through Greens/Democrat/Left's policies. California politicians and greens told common sense to fuck off: they decided to do a few things in the name of "environmentalism". Rational people warned them that their policies would result in bigger wildfires. Now that they have those exact consequences, instead of owning their mistakes and learning, they want to blame Global Warming, Trump for insensitively repeating what their own reports said, or they make excuses like "we don't technically own all the land we manage/regulate". But if warming is the new normal, then why do they spend 10x as much on electric car subsidies, or 100x as much on trains as clearing dead trees and managing the forest? And if ownership matters more than regulations, why do they regulate against harvesting trees in the first placer? It's one thing to be foolish, it's another thing to do it with a megaphone.
There's these different meme's about perspective -- and some are true, some aren't (or are true to only a point). Yes, what angle you look at an issue, can alter what you see. But that doesn't always make it right. In the image, one sees it as a circle, the other sees it as a rectangle, and since neither are seeing the bigger picture, they mess that it is a cylinder. So many will take away the message that both are correct from their view. But both aren't correct -- both are incomplete and wrong -- the truth is bigger than either of their views. Often there needs to be room for more than one perspective, but ultimately, on many issues there's also a right and wrong.
The progressive left has fostered disinformation and sensationalized problems with evil freedom/capitalism for so long, and regurgitated it through the media/educational institutions, so much, that their kids are buying the bullshit. Thus, they keep moving further and further into loonie left land. And none exemplify that better than Alaxandria Ocasio-Cortez, a limousine socialist that won the NY Primary against Joseph Crowley: a 10 term establishment guy. While Crowley was far left Representative, he wasn't far left enough for the DNC's new generation, and so Cortez beat him out, a goes to the general, where she's a likely shoe-in, with her party platform being no less than abolishing profits, "abolishment of capitalism", abolishing prisons, and abolishing borders.
Jim Acosta is to "journalism" what Hitler was to comedy: the grandstanding douchebag making himself into the story through obscene antics, and being wrong in virtually everything he does. When the President said "next" and tried to move on. Acosta decided to "lay hands" on a WhiteHouse intern, and physically prevent her from doing her job - which is handing the microphone to the next person. For that he got his White House credentials suspended, and the left proved their insanity by whining that this was an intrusions on the first amendment or a Free Press. Words mean things, and they don't mean what the left seems to think they do.
Trump did an interview with Axios where he said he can end Birthright Citizenship (an imagined right) by executive order. This drove the far-left nuts (not a long trip), just like they happens when he says anything. They claimed in unison:
this was unconstitutional and he was violating the constitution -- that's 100% wrong, at worst, it's debatable. But evidence supports his side (which they omit).
they claimed that Presidents should have constraints against their executive orders -- something they were silent on for the 8 years while Obama was doing far worse
they claim all sort of imaginary injustices if this is ruled this way -- most are hand-waiving distractions to what was the original intent of the authors.
If we're at all honest (they aren't), they would admit it all revolves around original intent of the 14th Amendment, and what it meant by "Jurisdiction", but the Chief Sponsor of the 14th Amendment (Jacob Howard) put the clause so that (to quote him), [The 14th amendment] will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the government of the United States. Who are you going to believe, the Sponsor of the 14th Amendment, or the FakeNews outlets like NYT, CNN, and so on?
The Blue Wave falls far short. Election results are coming in, and what did we learn? (Knowing that you probably shouldn't over-read too much into any one election). Well that the Democrats, Media and #Resist movement, didn't get what they wanted and promised. Trump held up far, far better than Obama or Clinton did in their first mid-terms: especially with those he supported or supported him. Obama and Hollywoods efforts were self defeating with high losses and few gains. And this despite being what should have been a much weaker election for Republicans because they were a divided and somewhat ineffectual house for the last 2 years (with #nevertrump'ers diluting and dividing things, unlike the Democrats historical lock-step goose stepping). So while we end up with some serious losses for civility and intelligence with Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, and their ilk making noise and playing the foils as evil rulers in the house -- this actually gives Trump someone to legitimately point fingers at that isn't FakeRepublicans/Conservatives in his own party.
Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer (2018)
Gosnell is the Citizen Cane of our generation. Not that I think it was the best movie ever made (but then I don't think that of Citizen Cane either), nor just because one of the lead actors in the movie is Dean Cain. But that the forces of collectivism and certain powerful personalities tried to suppress it being made, and it told an important story about that suppression. As it stays truer to the facts, and is almost a reenactment documentary, it's even better than Citizen Cane. As the director (Nick Searcy) said, "There are three aspects to this story that are fascinating. What happened; why it was allowed to happen; and why no one wanted to talk about it after it happened." So no matter what side the Abortion issue you come down on, and whether you support Roe v. Wade or not (I'm pro-choice myself), this was a fascinating story on how much the "abortion at any cost" crowd allowed, in the name of their agenda. Since I value truth more than a political agenda, I found it very worthwhile, I suspect many that put their agenda above bad behavior will hate the movie.
Bosch is an Amazon Original TV Series (started in 2014), that's one of the best crime-drama shows of the last few years. My wife and I binged watched 4 seasons in about as many weeks. Basically, it's very old school, and predictable in some ways: tough guy Harry is ex special forces, the veteran detective, who sometimes bends/breaks the rules... but over time, you learn that he's fairly ethical outside of a few shortcuts, and is trying to right the wrongs of the world, because he was brought up as an orphan, after his prostitute mom was murdered, and he was stuck in the system.
Searching is a 2018 American thriller film that came from the Sundance Film Festival (Jan 2018), and went into limited release (like only 9 theaters?) recently, and will be one of the most memorable movies of the year for me. As a thriller it's pretty good (not great) story about a father (John Cho / Harold of Harold and Kumar), trying to find his missing teenage daughter, with the help of a police detective (Debra Messing). What makes it fresh and interesting is that it's a story about a Dad learning about his daughter through her social media and computer accounts, and is shot from the point-of-view of watching someone's life play out via Social Media. So everything is seen through the computer screens/windows or smart phones (video chat, video and news clips, search results, and so on). This isn't as disruptive as one might think, at least for people that are used to doing this stuff regularly. I'm not sure I'd want every film shot in this style, for but this one movie it worked well for me, and my wife -- and wasn't disruptive or disjointed at all. It made it fresh, with good enough acting and story to get a 91/86 on rotten tomatoes -- and I felt it deserved more than that, just for a unique take on a well worn genre, as well as the messages contained within.
Dinesh D'Souza's latest movie is "Death of a Nation". And it perfectly exemplifies the bias in movie reviewers. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 0/90. Not a single reviewer liked it, 90% of the audience does - and that shows how of our touch or biased the reviewers are. Remember, this is the first of his movies to open in over 1,000 theaters, and his documentaries easily out-earn most (usually putting him in the top handful of documentaries of all time).
Ant-Man and the Wasp, is the long anticipated sequel to Ant-Man (2015). I'm not sure who was really waiting with baited breath, but I'm sure some fan was. These are silly, zany super-heroes with an absurd abilities: to shrink and grow and most fights involve a lot of both in something that makes other super-hero movies sedate and followable in contrast. They aren't bad, and you know you're getting a lot of slapstick type super-hero stuff, with a screw-up super-hero and his sides cracking one-liners: but sometimes movies are just an excuse to get out of the house.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a classic movie done in 1971, with Gene Wilder. (Technically, it was Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory -- but the book was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, so that's what most people know it as, even if wrong). Just to cut to the chase, this is a classic, and while a bit creepy and weird, it is seared in my memories from youth, and so it's cemented in nostalgic feelings of love for my childhood.
I was never a fan of the Ocean's series, partly because I'm not a caper-heist movie fan (too much artificial complexity), and most ensemble films substitute star power for good writing, acting and plot. Plus, it had George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, the trifecta of clueless-but-sanctimonious douchebaggery. So the Ghostbuster's Girl-Power remake of THAT wasn't high on my priority list for films I gotta see. But my wife wanted to see it, and she sees enough of my stupid movies that a little quid pro quo was in order.
Maybe it was my lowered expectations, but I really liked it. It was far better than the others, though that's a low bar. It was one of the better heist movies I've seen, probably because it didn't go over the top with an elaborate 400-stage, everything has to go perfect, sorta bullshit complexity that is crammed into most. There were whiffs of that, to keep the heist-plot pages filled and continue the genre... but a lot was leading up to the theft, or afterwards, and that played better for me. And while it had some plot holes with over-complexifying a snatch a grab, the holes weren't as in-your-face as in the average episode of The Walking Dead. So I liked it better than some other recent films I'd seen, such as Avengers: Infinity War. It was mostly just a heist film, with a few twists -- where criminals are the heroes, and James Corden plays himself as carpool insurance investigator. There were a few subtle undertones of Girl Power, without beating you over the head with it. While it's not deep, it was an afternoon of escapism.