American Sniper and the UnAmerican Sniping of it

This afternoon, I had the opportunity to go online and watch Glo Zell interview President Obama, or see American Sniper. Wow! It was powerful and hard hitting! Man, that President Obama sure knows how to give an interview!

Get real! I saw American Sniper and I must say it exceeded my expectations. To do any sort of a decent movie review, I'd have to include a lot of spoilers, and I don't want to do that. I want you to see this movie and experience it as unbiased as possible the first time.

I knew the basic story before I went to see it, but the movie is gripping enough that even when you know how it will end, it keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Much of the film is a character study of how Chris Kyle became the man he was, how he dealt with hardships, and relationships, and sorrow and loss. Also his struggle with the morality of taking a human life, even when it will save the lives of others. And what this does to a man's soul as he looks upon evil and does battle with it day after day. The film also deals with his wife, struggling to maintain her life and family in spite of a husband who deploys for months on end, and may not ever come home.

Some of it is a gritty, sometimes brutal, but realistic telling of what our soldiers endured in the Middle East and what their families endured at home. It is rated "R". It is definitely not a movie for children. The violence is...

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... at being President in a country near you!

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Civility and the Civilized Man

Our friend William Teach, over at The Pirate's Cove has penned an interesting and thought provoking piece this AM on civility. I am going to quote from it extensively, and if he doesn't like it he can just kiss my... (Take a deep breath! Civility! Ommm.) ah, then, we can simply discuss it like gentlemen! Teach writes:

Should media and other outlets avoid publishing material that upsets others? Not just Muslims, but the targeted group? We’re not talking about forced censorship, but personal censorship. Civility. Respect. Responsibility. In Starship Troopers, Robert Heinlein wrote

“A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.”

...that always made quite a bit of sense to me. Too often people are willing to forgo civility. With free speech comes responsibility. Much of the world has forgotten this as an attitude that makes everything not just about “me me me”, but infused with an attitude that everyone else is simply an ant. What does that mean? Do you think about all the ants and bugs you step on? No. You almost never notice them. You’re just doing your own thing without regard to the bugs. This is the way so many people think today. When they’re driving along and cut people off, it’s more than just selfishness, it’s a complete lack of regard for what can happen to other people. The fender bender behind them is of no regard as they drive off without knowing they are responsible for causing that accident.

Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. Was it appropriate when cartoonists were penning cartoons portraying Condi Rice in a horribly racist manner, many which were published in major American newspapers, such as the Washington Post and NY Times. When we do, we should be responsible for doing, be it speech, actions, the pen. We may not be to blame, we we can bear responsibility.

I commented along the lines of: "You cite the racist portrayal of Condi Rice. Those cartoons were vicious and meant to demean her. Isn’t there therefore a difference between those who would use a drawing to ridicule Mohammed as opposed to one that simply portrays him?

The problem with GOP primary voters is...

...that they just love the front runners from last time around.  How else do you explain Mitt Romney leading the Iowa straw poll? The good news is he's ahead of Jeb Bush.  The other bad news?  Jeb Bush is in second place.  

Coming soon?  Clash of the Establishment Titans.