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10 Thoughts On Comey’s Firing

 

72968070So . . . did you watch the news last night. We got in from watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Click here to read my review)  and I turned on the news to see if the world was still there and discovered the media in an out-right panic. POTUS fired FBI Director James Comey. It is perfectly within his power to do so, but everyone was aflutter—some were rushing to condemn the action, others rushed to praise it. Here are 10 thoughts I have.

  1. I would have fired James Comey, too. I just would have done it four months ago.
  2. Timing is everything. The timing of this looks highly suspicious.
  3. Anderson Cooper owned Kellyanne Conway last night.
  4. Trump apparently wasn’t prepared for the fallout of this action. How is that possible? He should probably fire some advisors.
  5. Comey found out while giving a speech and saw it on the TV’s in the room. That is no way to run a country.
  6. The media might be making this into a bigger deal than it really is, but it is hard to tell because they make such a big deal about EVERYTHING.
  7. It is not the firing of Comey alone that troubles me. It is the firing of Comey along with 46 Federal prosecutors.
  8. If I were a betting Baptist, I’d bet Jeff Sessions is the next to be fired, and I bet it happens before Independence Day.
  9. The first rule of an assassination is to kill the assassin. In October, Comey assassinated the Clinton campaign. Yesterday, the other shoe fell.
  10. The only way to clean this up is a special prosector. Congress should appoint one by the end of next week. It is in President Trump’s best interest as well as the nation’s, because it is the only thing that will put this behind us, one way or the other.

 

Guardians Vol. 2–A No Spoiler Review

Mrs. Greenbean and I, along with the youngest sprout, watched Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 last night.

Here is what is good about it.

  1. Baby Groot. Not as enjoyable as Groot, but still fun.
  2. There are several moments of witty dialogue, which is the real strength of these films.
  3. The music is great.
  4. It is a beautiful movie to watch–the costuming, effects, and color are pleasing to the eye. 
  5. The family themes are positive in both directions. What I mean is that both biological and free association ideas of family are demonstrated as potential failures and successes, in their own way.

These five things are worth the price of a matinee ticket. Not an IMAX or even a comfortable reclining seat ticket. Just matinee.

Guardians-Galaxy-Vol-2-New-Logo

It definitely was not as good as the first Guardians film. In fact, upon reflection, it had all the defects of the first film and very little of the good things. Chris Pratt is always likable, but in this film I find him absent. I don’t know if it is an intentional device on the part of the writing team, but I’m guessing more than half the scenes do not have Pratt in them. Instead, there is a weird focus upon minor characters from the first film.

Here is what I didn’t like at all.

WARNING–I have been advised there is a spoiler potential in No. 1 Below, so, I have redacted it, and moved the uncensored version to the bottom of this blog post where you can read it at your own risk.

  1. The plot was not just uninspired, it was plagiarized. How many times must we see a  semi-divine being try to take over the galaxy.
  2. Zoe Saldana got lost in the mix. Her character is completely lost. I think she has one good scene. One.
  3. The film grabs at so many relationships — Peter/Yondu, Rocket/Yondu,  Gamora/Peter, Peter/Ego, Mantis/Drax, Nebula/Gamora, Baby Groot/Rocket that it really does a poor job with all of them.
  4. Sylvester Stallone.
  5. The Mummy trailer we were afflicted with. Another Mummy reboot? With Tom Cruise? Really?

Most sequels are not as good as the original, and I feel like Marvel rushed this one to fit the Avengers timeline. It felt that way–like they needed to get a couple of things checked off their big picture narrative before they can move on with what they really want to do.

Is it kid friendly? About the same as the first one. There is language and sexual innuendo I wouldn’t want a six year old to see, and a moment of intense violence that I found disturbing. However, it is not too great a departure from typical comic book. It is right square where a PG-13 film probably should be.

 

POSSIBLE SPOILER BELOW–SCROLL AT YOUR OWN RISK

 

I WARNED YOU

 

  1. The plot was not just uninspired, it was plagiarized. How many times must we see a  semi-divine being try to take over the galaxy.

Star Wars Problems

Today is May the Fourth–aka Star Wars Day.

I’m a big fan–have been since I sat in that darkened theater and watched the original Star Wars in 1977. That doesn’t mean that our favorite galaxy far far away doesn’t have some major problems.

Problem #1–Plot holes

Every Star Wars film has major plot holes. Not minor ones, major ones. Does Luke learn all there is to be a Jedi during a two hour layover on Dagobah? In a great big desert, Finn never saw Poe get out of the crashed tie fighter? Why doesn’t Uncle Owen remember Threepio?

But the biggest plot hole, in my opinion, is in what was called Episode One, The Phantom Menace. Every airport in the world, and many shopping malls and merchant districts, have kiosks where you can exchange currency. imagesI can exchange my dollars for euros if I want. The rate might not be favorable, but if I go to Europe I’m gonna need the euros. It is impossible to believe that some enterprising businessman on Tatooine didn’t have a kiosk somewhere on the planet where Gui-Gon Jinn and gang could have exchanged some republic credits for the local currency to get the parts they needed. Sure, they might have taken a bath on the transaction, but money is not their problem.

Problem #2–Doors

This is a novelty, but I see it is a problem. It is a real problem if you get your finger caught in a Star Wars door. Why are they so fast?

Problem #3–The Jedi

Two problems here. First, the Jedi are dimwitted.

Really, master Jedi, you didn’t know the Sith lord was Palpatine? Really? You never thought to suspect that it was the politician? More to the point, why would you let the student who so clearly troubled many of you and whose future was cloudy spend so much time with the known crooked politician?

You were supposed to be smarter than this. Way smarter.

The second problem is more–philosophical. When I watched the original Star Wars as a child, it seemed like being a Jedi and using the “Force” was the kind of thing that came from hard work, study, and an open mind. Kind of like success in general. But as we learn from the prequels, it really is more about elitism. You are either born with it, or you are not. That ruined the mystique of the Jedi and posed a philosophical problem inside the Star Wars universe. I am pretty sure I would be against the Jedi and their elitist tendencies. Their answer for just about every critique is “You have to trust me.” Or, to just kill you. They are elitists who abuse their power.

Problem #4–Padme 

I may rant a bit here. Padme starts off strong in The Phantom Menace, and is truly one of the only bright spots. By Revenge of the Sith, however, she is reduced to cliche lines and weeping, a shrinking violet that provides no real plot progression other than the emotional turmoil for Anakin.

This is a problem for me on two fronts. First, Natalie Portman is one of the finest actors in any galaxy, and she was criminally underutilized. Why not make her character more active in the inevitable break away of Anakin Skywalker? Why not give her something to do? Why not make her more than a trophy, wielded between Anakin and Obi-Wan.

The second problem for me is the heritage of Padme. She is the forgotten voice. So much of the Star Wars vibe is the father-son relationship, but they miss a real opportunity with the legacy of Padme. Neither Luke nor Leia know of their brave mother, her courage, the work she did to save the Republic, and ultimately how Anakin betrayed her—a betrayal which led to her death. This problem can be fixed with the upcoming films, but I doubt that it will.

Problem #5–Storm/Clone/First Order Troopers

The obvious one is they can’t hit anything. But that isn’t my problem. That the bad guys never learneUnknownd to aim is a common theme since the westerns of old. No, my problem is, what is the all the plastic armor for? It doesn’t protect against basters. It doesn’t protect against Ewok rocks and sticks. It doesn’t protect against a karate chop to the throat. It doesn’t protect against a punch in the face. It doesn’t protect against being thrown into a tree. It serves no real purpose, as I can tell.

 

Problem #6–I can’t quite seem to get enough of it. 

Hungry Children

I sat in a meeting today whose sole purpose is to end hunger in our county. We call our selves the “Hunger Alliance” but I prefer to think of us as the Rebel Alliance.Unknown

There was a large discussion today–most of our time–over a particular phenomenon that none of us quite understood. It has come up in the past two meetings. Here goes:

  • At least 30% of our community has food ‘insecurity’–which means they do not have a steady, stable source of food.
  • In the summer, public schools provide free lunches. I believe this is a no-questions-asked free lunch to any child or family who wants it.
  • Last year, they even put the lunches on a bus and drove them to the outlying communities.
  • No one comes.

One school official said her school was a half-mile from apartments where many students live.

No one comes.

People are hungry. We know they are hungry. The food is right there. No one eats.

What we kept coming back to is the question why? There is all this free food out out there, for the taking. There are two possible avenues for a reason. One, it is a physical problem with logistics. Two, it is a psychological problem involving perception.

Let’s start with the physical possibility. Some suggested it is because the students are left at home, parents go to work, and the children are told to not leave the house. A second physical problem is transportation to the school. a third thing that people suggested was that people didn’t know about it and therefore we need to do a better job of getting the word out. There might be other logistical problems, but these seem like the biggest.

The second option, the psychological one, is more interesting to me because I think it has more traction. There are at least two of these. First, people have a stigma about eating at the school in the summer. During the school year, all children eat, and no one knows if the kid eating the meal is getting free or reduced (which 50% do) or if the parents just prefer to have the hot lunch option for the student. Anyone eating in the summer would automatically be ‘outed’ as receiving free or reduced. Second, its school. People don’t want to go to school during the summer, even for a meal. Even if they were giving away steak dinners, no one would go to school to eat.

I don’t know if we can crack this nut. It is probably beyond our pay grade, if you know what I mean. We are working with volunteer organizations, churches, food-banks, and the public education system. There are multiple layers of bureaucracy to deal with. I suspect we are stuck with the status quo for at least the foreseeable future. This reality breaks my heart. The idea that there are children who are hungry just because the calendar says it is July troubles me.

There is really only one real solution here. That solution is year-round school. It makes the most logical sense to solve the food shortage. I am in favor of year-around school for academic reasons as well, but this is the reason that might eventually get people thinking.

I’d be interested to hear your opinion, so I have turned comments “On” for this particular post.