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Blade Runner (1982) (2017)

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Some movies hold up better as a memory, than in rewatching them. Blade runner did that for me. It wasn't bad, and was iconic for its day. But it's nearly 2019 and I'm not sure how they thought we were going to advance that fast, or how mega-buildings would look 50 years old, only 27 years in the future. It was also wrong on a lot of futurism. But it's both entertaining for its day, and a great story and visual today. If you don't mind a bit of noir. The sequel (2049) took all the worst parts of the first (plodding, dark, self-indulgent: visually and plot-wise), with none of the freshness. It was an hour longer than it needed to be. So while won't be the worst movie I see all year, it won't break the top 20 either.

Politicizing Sports

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Progressives seem unhappy when anyone else is happy and not waving their flags of anti-patriotism. They see some injustice in the world (real or imagined) and they feel compelled to lecture and spoil anyone else's good time. Nothing demonstrates this more than the recent politicization of sports -- with the completely expected consequences that this alienates enough of the audience, to ruin it for everyone.


You probably think...

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The dumbest phrases in the English language often begin with "you probably think...".

When someone begins with that phrase, I usually give them a warning, and if it happens again, I block them.

What that phrase actually means is, "I don't know what you think, and I don't care or I would ask you, I just want to grandstand and tell others what you think... because what you actually think is probably beyond my ability to argue with". Because if they cared about what I thought, or they had any interest in an actual conversation or growth, they would ask me what I thought and try to engage, instead of trying to disengage and provoke, by telling others what they think I think.

Attacking the Source

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When people can't refute the points made, their ego often demands a response. Since they don't have an intelligent one, they let loose their inner child, and attack either the source or the author. I get that a lot. I take it as a compliment. It means my arguments are so well formed that they can't find a better response than claiming something silly, like, "iGeek looks like Wikipedia, but is biased", or "who is that guy", and so on. It's cute, like watching a 5 year old (their emotional bretheren) throwing a tantrum on the toy/candy aisle because Mommy won't buy them something they want".

American Assassin (2017)

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A completely predictable, but not unwatchable super-spy movie.

You've seen the story line so many times, you know it by heart. Mitch Rapp loves his fiancé, who is killed by terrorists in front of his eyes (if this is a spoiler, you haven't watched the trailer). So of course he decides to become the baddest mo-fo in the world to get them back. You can practically hear "Eye of the Tiger" playing, while he's doing one-handed clap pushups and beating people up in his MMA classes. Then CIA Deputy Director is impressed by his moxy, and so brings him into a super-secret double-good special ops group, under the tutelage of Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton). And you know Stan is good, because he doesn't fear liability lawsuits when he disregards all common sense safety practices, like playing with live ammo and real knives. Lastly, they're going after a super-duper good ghost, who has to be Hurley's ex-protige.

Zero Sum and the Government

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While discussing progressive "solutions" the other day, someone said my problem was that I saw government as a zero sum game. Where every dollar you used to help one person, came from the pocket of someone else, so there could never be a net win for society. I explained that it is much worse than that: when government is involved, because there's overhead, waste, fraud, work rules, politics, and other things that dissolve efficiency, freedom, pride and value, as part of the transaction, it is always a negative-sum (lose-lose) game. That isn't to say there aren't winners, there's just always far more losers: because of how the system works.

New Jersey and the Economist

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For each $1.00 New Jersey gets back from the fed, they have to give the fed $1.64, they have to pay $.18 in compliance costs, and the government borrows about $.81 of that dollar, and sticks New Jersey with the debt obligation. On top of that, federal work-rules and controls means that dollar is actually only about as effective as $.60 would be if it was under local or private hiring practices.

Progressives see the $.60 of real value as a net win. Anyone else, can see that you paid about $2.63 to get it.

Progressives think you can make it up in volume: if you just continued to lose $2.00 for each $.60 of value you get out of the system, you'd eventually come out ahead. Non-progressives recognize the seen versus the unseen (The Broken Window Fallacy) and the $2.00 of hurt you did, for each $.60 in help.

Jesus Fucking Christ

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There was a comment that Democrats are "learning" to hate God, and that's a danger to them both morally and politically. But it's much worse than that. The party of identity politics (that divides us for votes) has not come to this behavior recently. They decided long ago, that if the establishment believes X, it must be wrong (unless they're the establishment). And the other side is worthy of contempt and mocking, while proclaiming their sides superior tolerance, political correctness and respect. And nothing demonstrates this more than the Hunky Jesus Contest.

A Monster Calls (2016)

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One of the best movies, I've seen all year. (I caught this on HBO in 2017).

It's a bit of a downer, using tragedy to remind people of what's important in life -- but the messages are beautiful and on-target, if you can handle a movie that's showing the human spirit through the trials that life (and death) throws at it, and a child's shock and frustrations at the powerless of human condition.

DACA

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Do you love the Constitution and Rule of Law, or do you prefer a corrupt political tyranny (where the President has the powers to write/nullify law)? Pick one.

If you support DACA then you aren't compassionate, you just picked the latter.

North Korea

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I sometimes call myself a radical centrist. It's not because I like playing devil's advocate for the sake of being argumentative, it's that many people see the world in extremes: their way or the wrong way. Thus when people are arguing a cartoon version of the world (the U.S. or a President is always wrong/right), I just want to point out that it's a lot more nuanced than that -- and usually they respond with a reductio ad absurdum response, "if you're not completely against X, then I must be for it" (or vise versa). I wish the world that was that simple, but it isn't. North Korea is the perfect example of that.

Obamacare is a Republican Idea

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There’s an oft repeated lie, that the Affordable Care Act (ACA / Obamacare) was modeled after a Republican plan. People that say this are either liars, DNC mouthpieces, or people completely unaware of the actual facts and are just repeating what they’ve been told by DNC mouthpieces. This debunks that tripe.

Joe Arpaio Pardon

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I'm not a Judge Arpaio fan or foe. Some of his ideas about justice aren't horrible. Some of his implementations definitely were. But the thing that matters in his Pardon is none of those biases or activities that others want to bring to the table, but just whether he was being treated fairly in this case or not.

Free Speech and the 1A

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There is no "hate speech" exclusion for the first amendment (1A). And almost every effort to curb the 1A has been bad. Destroying public property because it "offends you", is no exception. And if you start destroying others tributes, then why should any be allowed?

Before you grease a slippery slope, the reasonable ask, "what's at the bottom?"

Dunkirk (2017)

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This wasn't bad, but it was a bit of mismanaged expectations. Many will go in expecting a Historical War and action movie -- what they'll get is a vignette movie telling 3 different stories, with overlapping timelines. A British soldier pooping and fleeing from the pending german advance (over a week), a British guy with a boat coming to save them (over a day), and a RAF pilot (over an hour), and how those stories intersect. If it sounds overly complex, it is, but the stories individually aren't bad -- the same with the movie.

Charlottesville Race Riot

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There's always two sides to History, that of the informed and the other side. The latter may be well intentioned, but if they don't know why something is happening, then their anger, frustration and venting is all misdirected at the wrong thing. Hate is taught, and the left is being taught hate through the media (disinformation). Just about everything the left has raged against (in Charlottesville) shows which side they're on.

Google Firing

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This is the story of Media Lies, Google Hypocrisy, and what happens when someone (James Damore) decides to tell the truth in Progressive America, "Burn the witch, after all, he said the same thing that science, common sense, and Google's own lawyers say in court!" Google encourages people to speak their minds, then fires them if they don't say what they want, then claims they're still all about free speech, just not THAT! In the end, Google proved they're not only an echo chamber, but one with blindfolds, guns and itchy trigger fingers.

Mummy (2017)

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The Mummy got lousy ratings at 16/43 (Reviewers/Viewers) on Rotten Tomatoes. While I wouldn't exactly call it good, I'm not sure it stank quite that badly either. It sort of the opening salvo in Universal's, "The Dark Universe", which is basically Frankenstein (+Bride of), Wolfman, Dracula, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Creature from Black Lagoon. All the old horror film classics. This one tries to modernize the story, and use a big action name (Tom Cruise) as a douchebag (not a stretch). But there while it was horrible, there was a lot for snowflakes to get offended by.

Malevolent liberty or benevolent tyranny

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Malevolent liberty is better than benevolent tyranny. A lot of this boils down to the Trolly Problem: a thought experiment in ethics that goes like this: a runaway trolley is going to kill five people tied to one set of tracks, or you can flip a level where it will go to a side track and kill one person. Which is more ethical? For me, the victims not having a say in what you do, is where much of the problem is. In Liberty, they choose. In Tyranny, you choose for them.

Trump v. Tranny Brigade

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Here's my opinion on Trump's trans-army ban. I'm not a fan of that action, but it is blown way out of proportion, it was mostly the Democrats fault, and of all the things to get irritated with him on, this doesn't make the top 10. And the more hysterical the left gets about this, the more I flip from being opposed to his stupidty, to being more pissed about theirs. Keep balance and perspective. This goes into why.

Vaccines and Anti-Vaxxers

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I hardly have a dog in this fight, and don't have a problem (in theory) with either side -- but both sides can be preachy and wrong. While I'm no anti-Vaxxer (I've gotten all mine, I don't think vaccines are the cause of autism, and I would get them for my imaginary kids), I find the anti-Vax crowd has points that the anti-anti-vax crowd is either unwilling or incapable of understanding (their arguments are more simplistic and focused around the cult of authority). There are extremes and idiots on both sides, but I usually throw out the outliers and listen to the moderates on both sides, and the anti-Vaxxers I know, are far more well reasoned than the anti-anti-Vaxxers, at least based on the arguments both sides have presented. That could just be the circle of libertarian minded friends, or many articles I've read. But I've searched and found few anti-anti-vaxxers that were well informed or willing to concede valid points. To me, it's not ignorance that's a problem, but willful ignorance mixed with preachy sanctimony that gets on my nerves. This article has a few reminders on these facts.

Compusound

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As a teen, I hung out in a computer store, and I sold Computers by asking people, "What would you like to use it for?" By listening to their answer, I could solve their problem, and sell them a computer, AND my programming services. By 15, I was a great salesmen, making good money on that, and better money contracting to folks who bought my computers, and once I got my drivers license (extending my range), I was doing jobs for Aerospace and Glendale Unified School District.

Cinedome

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Another summer job I had was at the local movie theater; the Orange Cinedome. In writing this, I did a web-search, and found that for one thing, they'd torn it down, and for another, they'd gotten pictures before they did; cool. Brought back some memories. Turns out it was one of the last 70mm theaters in the area, at least before it was gone. I'd know it was big, but not how big. As jobs go, working in a movie theater wasn't too bad. I was young, and the toughest part was getting down there. Biking about 5 miles down wasn't bad; riding back after my shift, and it was a gradual uphill grade, was a lot tougher. Plus it got hot, and getting there, without being disheveled wasn't always easy.

Watts

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While I was a rural burb kid, I'd lived summers with my Uncle in Hollywood, or Grandparents in L.A. So I got the rules of urban and rural pretty well. Still, hustling on Sunset is nothing like being "white bread" working in Watts; which I did one summer. South Central was not the best time I ever had working; but I learned a lot. But most of it, was not good stuff, it was about racism, corruption, contempt/distaste for a subculture, about sloth and injustice. I didn't like that world, and while I could exist in it, I knew I didn't want to.

Ridgeline Country Club 1976

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All parents have issues, mine were very into status ("things") and working, and social events; they were yuppies a few years before the term was invented. While I have have social anxiety, and I was not into their status symbols (much), valuing myself by my work (and the independence it bought) rubbed-off.

I started working at a young age. I remember washing cars, selling lemonade, mowing lawns, and my first real non-summer job was being food prep, bus-boy, dish-kid, and various odd jobs (like collecting the balls from the driving range, and so on) at the local country club (at 12 or 13).

Collins 1986-1988

After I left Rockwell, I went to work for Rockwell. Rockwell was a large, many divisioned company. I moved from NAAO (Lakewood) and Airplanes (B1-B), to Collins Radio (Santa Ana/Costa Mesa) and Satellites (Milstar). Collins was working on the MILSTAR Satellite Communication Terminal. They put up a bunch of satellites, and this was the terminal that communicated with them and was used for most of the secure military battlefield communications. Never have I worked with such a ragtag bunch of humans; and had the time of my life. I was only there 3 years and change, but it seems like a lifetime, or more.

Rockwell • Collins Radio Division

Included are a few stories about my 3 years at Rockwell Collins.

Don Jr. Hysteria

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The left has lost their nut over a fake controversy. Donald Trump Jr. took a meeting with a Russian lawyer (Keyser Söze) who implied she had information on one of Hillary Clinton's many crimes in Russia. Being curious if they really did have evidence of those crimes that the media has had no interest in looking into, he took the meeting, as anyone would. No information was exchanged, there was no crime or attempted crime was committed.

NEA: Art so good,
it should to be paid for by force

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I have nothing against the NEA/NEH, except how it's funded.

  1. The NEA is “welfare for cultural elitists"
  2. Over half their funding goes to the 10 most liberal states (New York, California, etc).
  3. Places like the MET get $300M from private contributions, and have $4B in assets, why should rural taxpayers have to contribute anything to them?
  4. Then there's waste -- like grants for "Sitting with Cactus", or subsidizing productions of Julius Caesar where our President is assassinated.

So if you like it, fine -- contribute to it. Forcing others to contribute to it, is not what liberty looks like. So you can support Liberty or the politicization of the arts (Cultural Marxism), but not both.

NAAO 1983-1986

Rockwell North American Aviation Organization

Included are a few stories about my 3 years in Aerospace at NAAO.

San Jose Home

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Home Virtual Tour for our San Jose home. You just click on the various arrows (or floorplan) to nav various rooms of our home.

Ohio Home

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I wrote a Home Virtual Tour App for the Ohio Newspapers (and Realtors). I recreated the App/Solution using Wiki-Macros. You just click on the various arrows to see various rooms of our home.

SPLC

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A far left site created to fear-monger for money. Their platform is used to attack anyone on the right, and by their own standards, they would qualify as a hate-group, if they applied their standards to left-of-center institutions.

Wonder Woman (2017)

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Wonder Woman was a cheesy over the top 70’s TV show with Linda Carter. DC and Warner Brothers do their best to go after the Marvel Franchise with Gal Gadot playing the hero. Reviews are audiences gave it a 92/92 on Rotten Tomatoes, and it quickly exploded to $600M in sales, so I figured I should see it. And while it as good, it wasn’t quite as good as its sales numbers or reviewers would have me believe.

Book of Henry (2017)

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Book of Henry is not everyone's "cup of tea". Basically, a precocious genius Henry (and his younger brother, Peter) are being raised by their perpetually self-absorbed and immature Mom (Susan), when Henry witnesses the symptoms of abuse, he decides that since the system is broken and unjust, that he'll create some of his own justice, and sets in motion his rube goldberg perfect crime.

Being that I was a genius kid (who held myself back in school because I too felt that socialization with kids my own age was more important that "academic accomplishments" as measured by a system that I felt wasn't very fair or wise), and I also had a somewhat self-absorbed Mom, was on the receiving side of abuse (and so had an over-developed sense of justice): thusI could relate to the teasers on this movie. While is was getting only 25% approval from reviewers, it was getting 71% by audiences (and I tend to associate more with audiences than reviewers): so I went to see it. It was interesting. I liked it more than most will, but that still puts it as barely better than half the movies I'll see this year. And that, only because it was at least somewhat original, despite how hackneyed everything felt.

Vietnam

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You can't talk about Vietnam without talking about:

  • What lead up to the Vietnam War
  • Why the Vietnam war was fought
  • Who won and lost the war.

This covers all of those topics.

Choosing a Martial Arts School

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A few people have asked me about Martial Arts schools, and how they should choose. I did teach Martial Arts for a decade or two. This might aide some in having more confidence in deciding on which studio may be best for them. Most people start off backwards, they want to leap to Choosing a Martial Arts Style, and while that's not bad if you really have your heart set on a particular system. If you don't know where to start, I want to start more basic -- find an Instructor, Student, and then Art, in that order.

Do not be afraid to go to many schools in your area before deciding on the "Right School". (I recommend trying at least 3). These guidelines apply whether you are looking for you or your child. Just watch 3 classes (or part of them), and decide which seemed the best.

Choosing a Martial Arts Style

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In Choosing a Martial Arts School, I stated that the instructor may be the single most important of the variables in choosing a school, and the quality of the Students is a reflection on the teacher. But they are not the only factors. Here is some information on what to expect from different styles, cultures and arts. This information can help you choose a "style" as well, and maybe give you a starting point.

Politifact

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List of evidence that supports the popular opinion that PolitiFact is biased partisan hackery. Worse than that, they act like angry grade schoolers when caught, which is fairly often. So there are basically two camps: those that think PolitiFact is non-partisan, and those who know what's going on in the world.

New York Times

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A never great News Agency has become a shadow of their former self: admittedly biased by their own Ombudsman and editors, as well as exposed confessions. They still have occasionally good content, but that can't make up for their more frequent bad, or their willingness to deceive, commit lies of omission, or present things in a biased way.

Government R&D Spending

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If you only look at the government wins in R&D, things look great. If you look at the bigger picture, you'll understand why government R&D usually has huge costs and small payouts. Politicians playing technologists, using our money, may be fun for them, or earn them votes for caring by the gullible, but it's not fair to taxpayers.

People

I re-did, and moved a ton of things to this section. So while pieces of this have been in things I wrote over the years, this a new area to explore completely.

This section is not comprehensive analysis of all the complexities of a persons life, but more the points most often brushed over (the counter-balances to the myth-making/propaganda). So these are not meant to be read in isolation, but as complimentary aspects on people (or issues about them) that are on the road that's less travelled.