"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up."

Arthur Koestler 

Entries in Review (11)


A World of Stupid

We went to see X-Men and found it very enjoyable, but a lot of odd events occurred on that day. 

First we went to Red Robin. While it is still a premium burger establishment, it has added a lot to its menu since the last time I was there. Gluten free is now an option. My chili burger was outstanding. However, when I went to the bathroom I noticed a sign,"Employees Must Wash Hands." I waited for ten minutes but no employee showed up to wash my hands. It ruined my whole dining experience. 

In the theater they announced that I had to turn off my cell phone. I am an obedient kind of guy, so I had to go to my car to get my cell phone, and turn my cell phone off. Why Regal Theaters had to be so picky was beyond my comprehension. It was 104 in Palm Desert. 

My Jeep was even overcome with stupidity. It kept telling me that "my door is a jar." No, my door is not a jar, my door is a door. 

While I would recommend the movie, I can not recommend Red Robin, Regal theaters or Jeep. 

Talk about Stupid!


Predictable, Unbelievable, But Strangely Enjoyable ... It's Star Trek

I was at my local coffee shop complaining internally about coffee costing $4 when I heard a customer talk about Star Trek's most recent incarnation. "It's Die Hard in Space," he said. He is right.

No matter how many times the Enterprise is destroyed, it is always ready for a sequel! Do not worry about spoilers as this is not really a review, but more a commentary on modern movies and television. Modern video is "extreme unlikelihood" combined with "total predictability."

Any Jackie Chan movie is a good example of what I mean. He does all these amazing stunts. To his credit he does them himself, but they are still stunts. Look at the blooper reels for his movies. While each of these stunts is "doable," the chance if anyone being able to string these stunts together is zero. Even Jackie must do these stunts many times to get it right. I suppose I am to "suspend disbelief." I suppose.

An example of predictability is an episode of Monk where right at the beginning, I think before the murder even happened, I said who did it and why. My son is still amazed by this. It is not that I am so good, but that modern video is so bad.

So if you want unlikely stunts combined with extreme predictability be sure to go to a theatre near you ... or wait for Netflix like I wished I had done.


On The Audio


No, not on the radio, but on the audio. The final entry in my pre-review of David Stockman's new book the Great Deformation is an audio interview with Chris Martenson. Since Martenson mostly agrees with Stockman, this allows a full discussion of the issues addressed in the book. I hope to have the book and my review finished by next Wednesday, wish me luck as I still have many pages left!



Cutting the Military

The US cannot afford the military it now has. If the US military is exempt from any cuts, then the rest of the budget must be cut so substantially that it would be catastrophic. Back in the time when the US actually had an enemy, the man who was president, Dwight Eisenhower, actually knew more about the military than any president we ever had. What did he do? David Stockman in his new book The Great Deformation tells us:

The nearly one-third reduction in real defense spending during the Eisenhower period was thus achieved by sharp changes in priorities and force structure. These included shrinking the army by nearly 40 percent, large cuts in naval forces, and an overall reduction in military personnel from about 3.5 million in early 1953 to 2.5 million by December 1960.

As a conservative I am supposed to worship at the altar of Ronald Reagan. But Stockman actually worked for him. Here is his description of military spending under Reagan:

As indicated, constant-dollar spending in Reagan’s fiscal 1989 budget was 30 percent, more than Eisenhower’s last budget, but even the subsequent official end of the Cold War resulted in only a modest rollback. Clinton’s final budget was a tad smaller in inflation-adjusted dollars than Eisenhower’s, even though by the year 2000 the United States had no industrial state enemy left on the planet.

Well, at last we can be happy that Obama is president and the insanity will stop. No, not so much. Stockman explains:

In fact, inflation-adjusted defense spending in fiscal 2011 of $670 billion was a new record, eclipsing even George W. Bush’s final war budget. It was thus abundantly evident that even an out-and-out “peace” president is no match for the modern warfare state and the crony capitalist lobbies which safeguard its budgetary requisites. Indeed, Barack Obama pushed the frontiers of the warfare state further than ever before. Beating his mandate for plowshares into an even mightier sword, the peace president pushed defense spending to a level 80 percent greater in real terms than General Eisenhower.

All these quotes are from pages 215 to 218 of The Great Deformation.

I suppose that neither liberals nor conservatives should read The Great Deformation, at least not unless they are taking their blood pressure meds.

While I am only guardedly pessimistic, and Stockman is totally pessimistic, the crisis that is coming will not be a happy time. I hope I am wrong.

Here is a part of the most ignored speech ever made.


Stockman on Stockman

I thought the best way to begin to talk about Stockman's book The Great Deformation was to let Stockman explain it himself. So I decided to begin with this book signing speech. 

I must admit that one lady annoyed me in the Question and Answer part as she did not understand that this is not a Republican problem, it is not a Democratic problem, it is bipartisan in origin. 

Another place that you can go to get a feel for what Stockman is saying is his New York Times article, “Sundown in America.” That is a humorous title playing on Reagan's reelection campaign slogan, “Morning in America.” If you decide not to buy Stockman's book, and at 700+ pages I certainly understand, I do recommend you read this article.