Trump Derangement Syndrome

What’s always amazing to me is people’s blind partisanship when it comes to politics.  It’s one thing for some Democrat or Republican party hack to change their views based on whatever the current president or a wealthy donor thinks.  They’re just trying to gain power for themselves.  But people who consider themselves principled conservatives or progressives wind up doing the same thing without realizing it.

Consider the left’s current obsession with Trump and their automatic “resistance” to any and all actions taken by the president.  It exposes both their willingness to abandon long held principled positions at a moments’ notice while also showcasing the ridiculous hypocrisy and conflicting belief system inherent in their ideology to begin with.

  1. Trump supports protectionism and opposes free trade.  So now the Left sides with giant outsourcing corporations who open “sweatshops” in China and import cheap goods to the USA.  I seem to remember a time when the Left was very supportive of the Labor movement and opposed so called Free Trade agreements.
  2. Trump attacks the media on a regular basis.  So now the Left holds up the Corporate Media as some kind of bulwark of free speech that must be protected and believed at all costs.  I seem to remember a time when they fretted over the consolidation of the big media companies and didn’t believe them.  But they simultaneously want YouTube and other Tech companies to silence any opinion they disagree with
  3. Trump likes Russia.  So now the Left hates Russia and is willing to risk WWIII to “stand up to Putin.”  Didn’t the Left once really like Russia?  FDR?  Bernie Sanders?  What happened?
  4. Trump hates Bush.  Now they yearn for the days when good ‘ol W lied us into the Iraq War.
  5. Trump wants to get US troops out of the Middle East and stop spending money on endless wars there.  So now the Left things that’s irresponsible and of course “we” have to overthrow the evil Assad regime in Syria.  But at the same time it was wrong of Trump to pull out of the treaty with their main ally and supporter Iran.
  6. Trump thinks NATO is “obsolete.”  Now the left loves NATO and thinks it must remain sucking on Uncle Sam’s teet forever and ever.
  7. Trump wants to enforce immigration law and thinks Congress should lower legal immigration numbers.  Now the Left thinks it’s a hate crime to make Hondurans live in Honduras.  Of course I’m sure if conservative White Americans moved to Honduras they’d have a problem with that.  They side with the  Koch Brothers and the giant Agribusinesses and fret that some vegetables might “rot in the field” and we’ll have to pay five cents more for strawberries.
  8. Trump criticizes the FBI and CIA.  Now the Left loves the “intelligence community.”  This one is probably the one that strikes me as the most bizarre.  I never thought the Left would be holding up known liars and war criminals from the evil US State as heroes in their fight against some populist politician.

There is no difference between the current Left and John McCain.  There are no principles left on the Left.  They’ll support any position or politician as long as it or he is in opposition to Trump.

To be fair many on the right have had similar shifts.  They’ve dumped the neocon, crony capitalist dogma of the Bush years to back Trump while the Left has largely embraced that same dogma.  I think to some extent Trump is a reflection of these shifting views rather than the cause, but I’m sure there are some who just believe anything Sean Hannity tells them.

I guess the only principled pundits and politicians all along were the neocons.  They’ve remained firmly in the anti-Trump resistance and are ready to switch political allegiances to serve their only true concerns: Israel and endless war.  God help us if the Left gets power again and allows these evil monsters to regain positions of influence in the Democrat party.

For what it’s worth, I think Trump’s trade policies are horrible, although I generally oppose the misnamed “Free Trade Agreements.”  I support his overtures for peace with Russia and North Korea and his criticism of NATO while I disagree with ending the Iran deal.  I favor lower immigration levels although making private business enforce the laws or building a wall are not my preferred methods for achieving that.  I love how he disparages the Media and our suddenly sacrosanct intelligence agencies.

Black Panther 3/5 Stars

I saw Black Panther over the weekend.  It’s a good comic book movie, but not as good as the hype would suggest.

One positive is it works as a stand alone movie.  It’s not just setting up the next Avengers or anything like that.

I thought the jokes were incredibly lame.  Marvel movies usually have mildly amusing humor.  Black Panther attempts that, but it really falls flat.  I’m having trouble remembering a specific one liner, but needless to say, I did not laugh once.

It’s not some hardcore anti-white movie.  In fact the plot is centered around a black villain wanting to steal the Black Panther’s advanced weaponry and give it to blacks around the world to use against their “oppressors” which would presumably include a lot of whites.  The hero, the Black Panther, fights to stop this.

There are only two white characters.  One is a bad guy who gets outsmarted and murdered by the black villain.  The other is a CIA agent and ally of the Black Panther.  I guess this is an important character from the comics so they felt compelled to insert him in this movie, but he really adds nothing.

There is also a debate about whether the Black Panther’s country, Wakanda, should allow in refugees (they currently don’t) or share its hidden technology with the rest of the world.  Interestingly the Black Panther makes some solid arguments about refugees “bringing their problems with them” and “threatening their way of life.”  I guess the audience is probably supposed to reject this way of thinking, but it’s not entirely clear.

The refugee issue never gets resolved, but after the villains are defeated, the Black Panther (who is also King of Wakanda) decides to open an outreach center in a poor black Oakland, CA neighborhood to share their scientific prowess peacefully.  I guess we’ll have to wait for the sequel to see how that plays out, but sounds like a bad idea to me.  Their science is based on their having access to some magical mineral called “vibranium” that no one else knows about.  So any outreach would mean giving outsiders access to this stuff which is almost certainly going to lead to its further weaponization by some villain in the sequel.

Anyway, worth checking out, but let’s not get carried away and pretend this is some epic masterpiece.

Why is Baltimore violent?

Here is an interesting article about rising violent crime in Baltimore and Chicago.  Really only certain neighborhoods in Chicago.  It blames poverty, lack of policing (the Ferguson effect), and a surge in demand from suburban white people for drugs.

I hate to break it to the author, but Baltimore and these Chicago neighborhoods were not great places prior to the shooting in Ferguson.  There may have been slightly less murders and gunshots, but these were not safe or desirable places to live.

Options to significantly reduce violence are as follows:

  1. Spend an insane amount of money on cops so there’s one on every block and they’re constantly harassing anybody who stops at a corner or loiters in front of a building.  But this could lead to riots eventually, and may require raising taxes on businesses or the few non-violent neighborhoods to the point where you drive the remaining productive people out of the cities.
  2. Legalize drugs.  This is the main economic activity for the gangs that control these areas through violence.  Let people buy drugs at local convenience stores, and the gangs lose their main reason for existing and their main motivation for shooting rival gang members.  Nobody gets shot over the right to sell Budweiser on a specific street corner.

But keep in mind neither of these proposals will turn Baltimore or Chicago’s South Side into nice places.  They will still be violent areas because a lot of the local residents are violent anti-social people.  They will, however, be less violent (although number 1 is probably only a short term solution while number 2 could have a real lasting impact.)

As far as alleviating poverty, that’s a bunch of garbage.  There are plenty of poor people who don’t shoot each other.  If you think giving everybody in Baltimore a few thousand bucks is going to solve anything you’re an idiot or a Democrat.

There is one full proof method to getting rid of violence in these areas.  Convince rich people to move there and gentrify the neighborhoods.  Driving up the rent and getting rid of section 8 housing will turn these into much nicer places.  Of course that’s only because the existing residents will be forced to move and turn some other city or town into a violent cesspool of crime.  Kind of like what happened to Ferguson, Missouri.

Are whites depicted as evil in Hollywood?

You’ll often read on alt right blogs about how Hollywood movies cast white men as the villains.  In many cases they go so far as to give them German accents or blonde hair to really further the phony narrative that only white gentiles are capable of being soulless psychopaths willing to commit mass murder for financial gain or ideological purposes.

If in fact this is true, you could speculate on the motivation for this in multiple ways.  Are they just trying to stoke anti-white feelings among movie goers?  Are the movie makers white racists themselves, and feel it would be unbelievable to to cast a non-white in the role of a genius villain because they’re not smart enough?  Are they just trying to avoid any potential backlash for portraying a designated victim group in a bad light?  Is there some hidden market research that indicates casting whites as villains sells more movie tickets?

It’s impossible to determine the absolute truth on what the motives are.  But is the premise even true?  Furthermore, are big budget movies just dominated by whites overall?  Are the heroes increasingly non-white while the villains remain white, or are all the lead roles typically white men?

Not that this is any kind of definitive study, but I figured I’d look back at the highest grossing films of recent years.  I acknowledge that the studios didn’t necessarily know these would end up being the most popular movies of the given year when making the casting decisions, but I had to start somewhere:

2017: Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast 2017 poster.jpgLuke Evans 2014 Comic Con (cropped).jpg

The villain is a white man, but this is set in 18th century France and has an almost entirely white cast which seems appropriate.  Hard to make too much out of this.

2016: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One, A Star Wars Story poster.pngBen Mendelsohn by Gage Skidmore.jpg

The villain is a white man.  The all white male Galactic Empire is back from the original 1977 movie here (it’s set in the days prior to the start of the original trilogy), but Director Krennic is a new addition.  It’s also worth noting that while the Empire has remained white, the rebel alliance has been diversified for 21st century audiences.  The main hero is a white female.

2015: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars The Force Awakens Theatrical Poster.jpgAdam Driver by Gage Skidmore.jpgDomhnall Gleeson by Gage Skidmore.jpg

While technically a sequel to 1983’s Return of the Jedi, this is really just a remake of the original 1977 Star Wars film.  Darth Vader has been replaced by a white guy where you can actually see his face.  Grand Moff Tarkin has been replaced by a red head and the Nazi imagery was laid on pretty thick.  Meanwhile Luke Skywalker was replaced by a girl.  The closest thing to Han Solo is a Guatemalan actor.  And the closest thing to Princess Leia is a black guy.

2014: Transformers: Age of Extinction

Transformers Age of Extinction Poster.jpegStanley Tucci 2017 Berlinale.jpgKelsey Grammer May 2010 (cropped).jpg

Couple of white male villains here.  Although the hero is also a white male.

2013: Frozen

Frozen (2013 film) poster.jpgImage result for Duke of Weselton

Villain is a white male (although an all white animated cast).  Hero is a white girl who may be a lesbian.

2012: The Avengers

TheAvengers2012Poster.jpgTom Hiddleston (35437548183).jpg

White dude.  Main heroes are white men (Iron Man, Thor).

2011: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

A girl and two boys, standing outside of a building with high turrets.Helena Bonham Carter (Berlin Film Festival 2011) 3 cropped.jpg

Never saw the movie, but the cast order suggests that while there are two white male villains, the main villain appears to be a white female.  Main hero is a white male.

2010: Toy Story 3

All of the toys packed close together, holding up a large numeral 3, with Buzz, who is putting a friendly arm around Woody's shoulder, and Woody holding the top of the 3.Related image

A cartoon Bear.  Hero is a white male toy.

2009: Avatar

On the upper half of the poster are the faces of a man and a female blue alien with yellow eyes, with a giant planet and a moon in the background and the text at the top: "From the director of Terminator 2 and Titanic". Below is a dragon-like animal flying across a landscape with floating mountains at sunset; helicopter-like aircraft are seen in the distant background. The title "James Cameron's Avatar", film credits and the release date appear at the bottomStephen Lang 2014.jpg

White guy. Main hero is a disabled white man pretending to be an alien.

2008: The Dark Knight

Dark Knight.jpgHeath Ledger.jpg

White villain, white hero.

2007: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Pirates AWE Poster.jpgTom Hollander 1.JPG

Never watched any of these films, but looks like both villain and hero are white guys.

2006: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Pirates of the caribbean 2 poster b.jpgTom Hollander 1.JPG

I think it’s pretty much the same set up as the 2007 film.

2005: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Poster.jpgRalph Fiennes 2013.jpg

White men are hero and villain

2004: Shrek 2

Shrek 2 poster.jpgImage result for prince charming shrek

I think it’s this guy.  So the villain is a white male and the hero is an ogre.

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King.jpgImage result

Seems like it’s some kind of non-human thing.  The hero is a white male.

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers.jpgChristopher Lee at the Berlin International Film Festival 2013.jpg

White male villain, white male hero.

2001: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Two posters, one with photographs and the other hand-drawn, both depicting a young boy with glasses, an old man with glasses, a young girl holding books, a redheaded boy, and a large bearded man in front of a castle, with an owl flying. The left poster also features an adult man, an old woman, and a train, with the titles being "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone". The right poster has a long-nosed goblin and blowtorches, with the title "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone".Related image

White male villain, white male hero.

So it looks like each year’s main blockbuster in the 21st century had a white male as the main villain except three. One was a white female, and two were non-humans. Most of the main heroes were also white, but much more likely to be female.  It’s also worth noting that there were limited casting choices for a number of these films.  The characters were often established by novels or comic books so it would have been strange for example, for a studio to cast a black guy as the Joker.

Might be more interesting to look at the films that are given academy awards.  Or just the top 10 movies from each of the last five years or something.

More to come if I get bored and feel like looking up more stuff on this topic.

Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria is what’s wrong with America

For those not familiar with Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, he’s apparently in charge of the United States Air Force Academy.  Some black cadet wrote a racial slur on a whiteboard in the dormitories there to stir up trouble.  The esteemed Lt. General jumped to the foolish conclusion that a white cadet wrote it, and made a speech that was picked up by the usual suspects in the media as a great moment in the war against racism.

I have a number of problems with this whole story:

  1. Hoaxes like this have become very common in today’s America.  Silveria should be condemned for berating his troops about their racism before knowing the facts, but instead he’s being given awards by Left Wing organizations for taking a brave stand which of course wasn’t brave at all.
  2. He said this as he was about to deliver his speech “I want you to videotape this so you have it, so you can use it — so that we all have the moral courage together.”  So he encouraged people to record his speech about how awful racism is (how very, very brave!).  This would suggest he intended for his remarks to go viral so that the Establishment could all give him a high five and his career as a big shot government employee would be advanced.
  3. This line in his address to the academy got the most attention: “If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, get out.”  The point of the Air Force in theory is to bomb foreigners who are a threat to the United States.  The point of the Air Force in practice is to bomb those foreigners whom powerful American politicians feel it is in their political interests to kill.  Why do the cadets training to carry out these bombing missions need to treat anyone with dignity and respect?  If anything I would think that might be a detriment.  You might actually question the morality of bombing someone in Iraq, Serbia, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, or Syria if you were prepared to treat those people with any dignity or respect.

So anyway, Jay Silveria will probably now continue up the ranks in the Military, run for Congress, become CEO of a defense contractor, or become a cable news contributor (or maybe all 3 over time).  That’s what’s wrong with America.

Image result for jay silveria adl

Kneeling for the Anthem

Let me preface this by saying I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the thugs of the NFL who are claiming to be oppressed while being paid millions of dollars to play a game.  In fact I’m downright hostile to them.

In recent years there was a growing awareness among all Americans that the police in this country did not respect our rights and were swiftly becoming militarized along the lines of an occupying force rather than the peacekeepers they claimed to be.  Then Obama, the Democrats, and their media allies turned it into a racial issue for political reasons.  Cops, whether black, white, or whatever, came to represent white people.  And we were all told the only people they abused were poor innocent blacks.  Too many whites became reflexively defensive and now we’ve lost any progress we may have made among those on the right that had finally come to distrust the state and its armed enforcers.

Never mind that George Zimmerman wasn’t white or a cop.  Never mind that whites are more likely to be shot when encountered by police than blacks.  Never mind that there are more whites shot by police than blacks.  Never mind that half the time there’s some black criminal shot by a cop, the cop is not white.  None of that matters.  It’s cops=white people=oppressors and blacks are always innocent and oppressed.  This is mostly nonsense, but somehow people who reject this narrative feel they must always and everywhere defend law enforcement simply because Black Lives Matters hates cops.

So I thoroughly reject the reasoning Colin Kaepernick and his brain damaged followers in the NFL have for protesting the national anthem prior to their games.  But I disagree with Trump’s denouncement of them as well.

There is no reason to play the Star Spangled Banner before sporting events.  It’s tradition, but it’s a tradition that came out of support for war.  It’s a weird song anyway.  It’s written about a battle in an unnecessary war that took place 200 years ago.  What other country has a war hymn preaching reverence for the government’s flag as their official anthem?

Professional sports leagues since 9/11, particularly the NFL, have turned the minutes immediately prior to the start of the game into flag worshiping ceremonies where everyone applauds the government’s troops for killing foreigners.  Having some pop singer screech out the national anthem is the centerpiece of this disgusting spectacle.

I don’t support war.  I don’t support the government.  As many Americans have come to equate the flag as a symbol for the government and its Military, rather than what used to be an actual Nation consisting of a free people, I no longer want to sing a song about it.  So I can’t condemn anyone for not wanting to stand at attention for the Star Spangled Banner.