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Showing posts from July, 2012

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) wants to legalize dogfighting

Not a lot in politics makes me genuinely, gut-wrenchingly angry. But Steve King managed to do so when he said he wants to legalize dogfighting and gave this reasoning:

KING: When the legislation that passed in the farm bill that says that it’s a federal crime to watch animals fight or to induce someone else to watch an animal fight but it’s not a federal crime to induce somebody to watch people fighting, there’s something wrong with the priorities of people that think like that.
No Mr King. There is something wrong with your priorities and your capacity to utilize logic, you heartless asshole. Dogs and other animals are coerced into fighting. Humans aren't allowed to be forced into fighting for the entertainment of other people. That someone in congress can't understand that is worrisome. That Mr King doesn't care about the welfare of innocent animals is disgusting.

A lot of people in this country love animals and get as emotional as I do about the thought of them being h…

The end of The Dark Knight Rises: a quick thought

Spoilers to follow

I had a quick thought about the issue of Batman dying that was prompted by listening to the Batman on Film podcast. And I couldn't get it out on Twitter so I wanted to put it here. As I've said, I loved the ending. I've seen it three times now and it is more powerful each time. So this is really just a thought for those who aren't completely buying the ending.

What if Batman doesn't know he is going to escape and use the autopilot when he tells Selina that the autopilot doesn't work? What if that last shot of Batman in the Bat is him thinking about the decision and then finally deciding that he can let go of Batman?

He has to make a quick decision when he knows they can't get the bomb to the chamber to be deactivated. And being Batman, he knows he has to get the bomb away from the city. So he has to accept that he will die quickly because he doesn't have time to think through the other options.

What if after he says his goodbye to …

Nerd culture

This post by Ta-Nehisi Coates got me thinking about my own relationship with nerd culture. I have a different experience with becoming part of 'nerd culture'. I was always one of the popular kids. From the very start, I fit it, for reasons I'm not completely aware of. If I had to guess I'd say it's just because I had a friendly demeanor. My mom thinks it could be because people are drawn towards attractive people. Could be. But she's somewhat biased.

But at some point around junior high I just felt disconnected from the popular group and shifted towards being more of a loaner and connecting with the less popular. I think the reason was because I saw many of the popular kids as fake, like they were trying to be something they thought was cool in order to impress everyone, especially girls. That bugged me. My parents' divorce probably exacerbated my feelings. But they were there before that.

During that entire time I liked superheroes and video games. My in…

Obama finally speaks on gun control

I can't remember the last time Democrats made a sustained effort at making gun control part of the national political conversation. They have collectively decided that it's not something they should talk about. I'd say they talk about abortion more than guns, which I would think is just as divisive a topic. Anyway, here is Obama:

I, like most Americans, believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms. And we recognize the traditions of gun ownership that passed on from generation to generation -– that hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage.

But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals –– that they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities. I believe the majority of gun owners would agree that we should do everything possible to prevent criminals and fugitives from purchasing weapons; that we should check som…

More on The Dark Knight Rises

There will be spoilers in this post.

I've been reading people's thoughts about the movie on a few message boards and blogs. While most seem to like it or at least think it's pretty good, there seem to be a lot of people who had problems with some parts of the plot. I haven't really dug into a lot of the specific points they are making because I just don't think they matter all that much in relation to the plot as a whole or to the themes of the movie. Frankly, I think it's just a lot of nitpicking by people who were expecting something different than what they were given.

Anyway, I wanted to point you toward this excellent post that was tweeted via The Bitter Script Reader, who I recommend you follow and check out his site. It talks about why the movie worked despite whatever issues with the plot there may be. Here come the spoilers:

That said, a lot of people really didn't like it and multiple bloggers have laid down their case either for or against on va…

The Dark Knight Rises review: spoiler edition

I've seen it twice and I have a more firm opinion of the film. I love it. I still felt the full brunt of all the emotional aspects of the film. I still think it was shot and paced well. And I just don't have the problems with the plot that some seem to. Spoilers from here on.

I won't summarize the whole plot. I'll just talk about the highlights for me. The end of the first act is the first confrontation between Bane and Batman. It was as brutal and awesome as I was expecting. They both just pound the hell out of each other. And Bane talks shit the whole time. As I said when the prologue came out, Bane is supposed to be the physical equal, if not superior, to Batman. The Joker was a great villain. But he wouldn't last long in a straight up first fight with Batman. Bane and Tom Hardy completely delivered on giving Batman an equal foe, which for me made the fight scenes more entertaining and dramatic.

This of course leads to Bane breaking Batman's back and throw…

The Dark Knight Rises review

This will be a short and spoiler-free review. I want to give people a chance to see it without possibly being spoiled. And I'm still forming my thoughts about it. It's so big and epic that I need to see it again to make a final judgement.

I just woke up a while ago because I spent all of last night watching the entire Batman trilogy. It was really fun to see Batman Begins and The Dark Knight in the theater again. Batman Begins is a really good movie and turned out to be a great refresher for what happens in The Dark Knight Rises. I strongly recommend you watch BB before you see TDKR because Nolan draws on it quite a bit. Even after seeing The Dark Knight at least 10 times, it was still great in theater. Heath Ledger's Joker never fails to be completely riveting. I would also recommend seeing it before TDKR since TDKR deals with things that happened in TDK.

While being part of the same trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises is a slightly different film than BB and TDK. The tone, …

Breaking News: Mitt Romney is still a liar

This may come as a shock to some of you. But it seems as though Mitt Romney has been caught in another lie. Andrew Sullivan has the details:

But even the WaPo concedes that Romney cited his active Bain business ties from 1999 on in 2002 under oath to help establish residential eligibility to run for governor of Massachusetts in 2002. And Kessler admits that Romney's sworn testimony on this contradicts his legal SEC filing, and several filings Romney made as CEO in the period in question.
Like with basically everything else, Romney wants to have it both ways. He says his experience as CEO of Bain gives him an understanding of the economy that will benefit him as president. That advanced knowledge of the economy is what he says he has more than Obama, which is why he should be elected over him. At the same time, he says that he isn't responsible for any of the negative things Bain has ever done, even when he was CEO in name only and still getting paid by the company.

This man&#…

The nature of political power

I was reading Glenn Greenwald yesterday and he said something that made me think about an argument I made about the individual mandate. He said something along the lines of the old adage that once the gov't takes some power it's likely it will keep taking more and more. He said that in relation to the executive power to do things like monitor/spy on civilians and other things related to 'war on terror' policies.

I generally agree with Glenn that when the executive takes that kind of power it is likely to expand it. Obama has done so with drone strikes. Bush did so with numerous policies. And history is riddled with similar instances.

I made kind of the opposite argument about the power congress has in relation to the individual mandate. I said that just because it can force people to buy health insurance doesn't automatically mean that it can then claim the power to force people to eat broccoli. Further, I think the supreme court should allow congress to use that…

Climate change

I'm getting around to watching Up w/Chris Hayes, which was aired early this morning. The big topic for today's show was climate change. They touch on why they call it climate change instead of the more familiar "global warming". Global warming is causing climate change. But now that Republicans are crazy and have denied global warming and try to attach negative connotations to the term, everyone who isn't crazy is trying to use climate change because it's a more encompassing term.

Basically, Republicans can't deny climate change just because it snows during the winter. Well, they can. But they can't easily do it with semantics when we use climate change instead of global warming. Scientifically, it's the difference between climate and weather. The warming of the planet doesn't mean it will always be hot. It means that the temperatures will be consistently higher that they usually are. For example, in the summer, it will be 104 instead of 100.…

My five freebies

The annual vote for your five freebies is going on at one of my favorite sites, pajiba.com. Here's the link that explains what the list is and where you can cast your vote. Basically, you just choose the five celebrities you would sleep with if you could without your significant other getting mad. Since us over at pajiba are a bunch of elitists we tend to pick the not too obvious celebs and make actual talent part of the criteria. And we also try to make it current. So here's my list for this year.

My first two are holdovers from last year. Alyson Hannigan just keeps being the most adorable woman in the world. She only gets better with age. And she is still doing good work on How I Met Your Mother. As you will see, doing good work is a key factor in getting on my list since pajiba is a site about current film/tv/pop culture. Thus, while Kristin Kreuk and Sarah Michelle Gellar will always be on my all time list, they aren't on this year's list because of their lack of s…