Saturday, July 29, 2017

Bad Time For A Movie Like This

With Friday's newspaper comes the entertainment section, in which new movies are reviewed.  This week, Kathryn Bigelow's new movie "Detroit" debuts.  It is called by movie critic Dan Gire, a "docudrama", which means it's a dramatic depiction of actual events surrounding the Detroit race riots of 1967. 

I'm not intending to comment on Gire's slanted view of this movie...slanted in the sense that it regards this depiction to be the unvarnished truth rendered in an absolutely objective manner without regard to personal biases.  Whether police brutality was suffered by the black community in greater degree than by others (like hippies) is not a concern here (though they most assuredly were).  Whether or not the police overreacted to the response of the black community after a police raid on an illegal event (possibly, though "overreaction" to an entire community looting, burning and assaulting would be difficult to measure) is also not a concern.  Whether or not blacks overreacted to the police raid of said illegal event (Yes.  They most certainly did.), or were in any way justified in doing so (No.  They most certainly were not.  No one would be.), is as well another story.

No.  Here, my concern is with the making of the film and the timing of its release.  I don't know when this film was conceived, nor when production of it began.  The best I can determine at this point was that it wasn't all that long ago given Bigelow's announcement in early 2016 that she intends to collaborate with Mark Boal on the film.  She's been a busy woman in recent years and sometimes these things can take quite some time to get from one's initial inspiration to actual release for public consumption.

Bigelow, in one interview, stated she felt it time to enter into discussions involving race relations.  I don't know where she's been, but it seems to me that she's somewhat late to the party on that score given that Eric Holder chided us in 2009 for being "a nation of cowards" with regard to such discussions.  The thing is, not only are many of us willing and eager to get into such discussions, many of us are willing to be absolutely honest about it, including discussing the topic from a wide variety of angles.  Some of those angles are those others would prefer not be discussed. 

For the purpose of this post, the point has to do with what impact a film like this will have on such discussions, as well as on the climate of race relations as it now stands.  This assumes the film is entirely accurate and honest as to the events of those riots in 1967.  That's in question given that some don't even want to use the term "riots" in favor of a more noble "rebellion". 

Recent years have shown that arguing that all lives matter, in response to chants that black lives do, is itself a racist comment to some.  Exposing the numbers regarding who's doing what and in what percentages also results in outcry, as the truth interferes with a narrative by which some benefit.  I would suggest that this film will only make things worse in that regard.  It will validate some false opinions with which truth, facts and evidence are inconvenient.  It will be used to justify more attacks on cops, as if the attitudes of most people today remain unchanged from 50 years ago...which is blatant nonsense.

I don't think the movie will tell us anything we didn't already know, except perhaps that the riots actually took place.  The young may not be aware.  But will they be enlightened, or further indoctrinated?  I don't know, but I don't think incendiary films like this are the way to bring it to their attention. 

I hope we hear of no violence tied to any presentation of this film.  And should dialogue take place as a result, I hope it's all positive and of a type that relieves tension between the races instead of increasing it.  It remains to be seen.


Just watched Steven Crowder's review of this film and it lends credence to my fears...not that it came as a surprise.  Here's the YouTube link: 

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Much Ado...

So way back in April of '07, when I began this blog, I had a notion for a title that reflected a major interest of mine...martial arts.  As my name is "Art", it seemed a natural to appropriate the term for the purpose.  After setting up the whole thing, that nagging feeling I had turned out to be provoked by a misspelling.  My mildly clever idea had been to use the term for a law enforcement officer, which as it turns out is often spelled as I had initially spelled it on my masthead (according to Wiki).  As I was new to the whole create-your-own-blog thing, and as Blogger was a bit different at the time, I wasn't keen on trying to figure out how to fix it.  So I left it.  Yet, I intended to one day fix it, because I didn't think it conveyed the clever idea as well as the more common spelling, and thus you see the blog is "renamed" MARSHAL ART'S.  (woo-freakin'-hoo)

I even have a concept in mind for graphics.  That requires actual sketches to get it right so that it looks good, and perhaps contracting with one or two other artists to do it for me, to see which version I prefer.  It would blend the western notion (Marshal Dillon) with the combat arts in the design.  What's in my head is way cool.  How long it'll take me to actually do it is another matter altogether.   Then of course I'll have to determine if I can actually import the pic to appear on my homepage.  Sounds like work.  I don't like work. 

You won't have to do anything different to get here, gentle reader, as evidenced by the fact that you got here.  And whoever is so compelled is free to engage in snark and mockery related to my misspelling my own name.  Just be prepared to suffer a virtual spinning back kick. 

Just as an aside, and for the purpose of needlessly expanding this post, I want to tell you a little story.  Back in the day, when I was full on martial-manic, a fellow karateka joked about our own TV show.  We only got as far as the intro, and it would be a martial artist cop show (like Walker: Texas Ranger became).  At our dojo, I was the only "Art" and this other dude was the only "Gary".  So, the voiceover would say, "MARSHAL ART!  and his sidekick (and as I would perform a side thrust kick, the camera would follow my foot panning over to), MAWASHI GARY! in..."(we never came up with an actual title)  A kick in Japanese, we were told, was pronounced (likely poorly) "geri".  A mawashi geri was translated as "roundhouse kick" or "round kick".  Hence the nickname of my associate, Gary, who would perform a roundhouse kick.  We even acted it out now and then for other eye-rolling students.   Oh, how we laughed.  "Marshal Art and his sidekick Mawashi Gary".  Those were the days.  He's in Houston now.  But anyway, that's whence the name of this blog originated and I'm sure you're all appropriately enthralled and enriched by the knowledge.

You're welcome.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

And Then, Of Course, There's Dan

A recent post by Dan, called "Resist", drifted somehow to a tangential conversation (I used the word loosely) on abortion.  This discussion (I use the word loosely) was a good presentation of the routinely disingenuous style of discourse we've long come to expect (and are never disappointed in doing so) when engaging Dan on most any topic. 

The off-topic debate focused on the definitive point of contention regarding the abortion issue:  is a human fetus (or embryo or zygote or whatever) "fully" human and therefore equally worthy of having its young life protected in the same manner as anyone who has been fortunate to have been allowed to exit the womb without being killed by its mother?  Somehow, Dan just doesn't know the answer to that question.  He believes...scratch that there is no way we can know...that science cannot tell us when one is actually endowed by its Creator with the right to life as it moves from conception onward.  It is for this reason that while he claims that he would not have an abortion were he a pregnant woman, he cannot bring himself to support denying other women who seek this heinous option when dealing with a pregnancy that in over 90% of the cases (if not higher) where that option is considered, the woman willingly engaged in the act that, by nature, is designed to bring about new life.

Now, it would be bad enough to pretend this was a legitimate position to hold, considering the stakes.  It isn't as if the issue is no more weighty than eating red meat (I don't eat red meat, but I wouldn't deny others the right to eat it---I don't mean me.  I love red meat!).  It's far closer in reality to allowing others the right to hire assassins.  (I would never hire an assassin(abortion doctor) to kill another person(unborn human being), but I won't deny anyone else the right to do so(hire a doctor to kill their own child). (By the way, Dan, that's what an analogy looks like.)

In this debate, he puts forth a definition from the Oxford English Dictionary to support his position that the fetus might not be fully human.  From his comments, I reproduce what he put forth as that Oxford definition:

"a man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance."

Using Dan's own peculiar and deceptive argument, one could say, "Oxford isn't saying anything with regard to whether a human fetus is or isn't included in the definition of a Human Being."  A more honest response was what I put to him following this attempt to pretend a human fetus isn't.   It simply compares adult or child humans with the closest animal equivalent.  (And it doesn't use the expression "fully human" in any event)  I would suspect that were Oxford to consider other stages of development beyond merely adult and child, it would include the human fetus, embryo or zygote as additional stages of human development, and thus all Human Beings.  As it stands, the Oxford definition is poor evidence in support of Dan's premise. 

Dan also uses one of his extremely poor attempts at analogy by illustrating his point with regards to an apple pie before and after it comes out of the oven.  Before, it is merely a mix of ingredients and isn't a pie until it is done baking.  This analogy is absurd because a child unborn is not a "mix of ingredients" any less so than any other fully development human being.  Unlike a pie, a person is constantly developing, with "ingredients" dying and being replenished to one degree or another throughout that person's entire existence.  Hair continues to grow.  Cells are replaced.  Damaged parts are as restored.  More importantly, when the child emerges from the oven (Momma's womb), it is not "fully baked" as it were, but still developing for a good 18 years or more.  The pie isn't fully formed until it is done baking.  The child in the womb is fully formed at whatever stage of development it happens to be at.  Again, the distinction is between fully human and a fully developed human being.  Dan conflates the two without any evidence in support of the argument that his arbitrary line of demarcation is worthy of respect by honest people of character and virtue. 

Then comes the punchline.  After all these and other arguments defending the unborn...arguments that actually relate to available scientific facts and data that undergird our pro-life position, Dan then goes on to suggest that our arguments have led him to reverse his belief that abortion is immoral.  That is, he no longer believes it is because of our arguments that fully support the premise that it is!  It takes a lot of gall to put forth such an absurd notion.  The truth that is more likely is that he couldn't find a way to actually justify his support for abortion for any reason.  His former claim that he would not have one himself were hollow at best, if not an outright lie.

I have to think that his defense of infanticide is similar to his defense of homosexuality.  He knows people who have had abortions and, by golly, they're just such nice people and wonderful, loving Christians.  This is, for Dan, what passes for "embracing grace".  While actual Christians try to appeal to the sexually immoral, with love and understanding, to seek forgiveness of God for their immorality and repent of it, Dan chooses instead to enable it.  That's not a Christian response to immoral behavior.  It is complicity...aiding and abetting.  He may as well be aborting those defenseless children himself. 

Sunday, February 05, 2017

From The Sad, Pathetic Little "Man"

As the title of this post implies, the topic is compelled by a nonsensical question posed by feo.  Before I get to it, there are two other statements he made on which I wish to comment.  Don't bother trying to find them, I've been deleting his comments due to restrictions placed upon him due to his ongoing hateful behavior.  But these comments and the questions I thought were worth saving until I had the time to compose a post about them that will demonstrate once again how foolish he insists on being.  Let's begin:

"In christian theology marriage is a sacrament of the presence of God in the love two people have for each other."

Remember, this is a guy who brags about his vast knowledge and understanding of the Christian faith and his overall intellectual superiority.  The above may be an example merely of hasty composition, but it's really not much of a definition.  That is, it wouldn't pass the editor's approval due to it's sloppiness and lack of precision.  Here's a far better definition:

In Christian theology, the sacrament of marriage is the union of one man and one woman who, in the sight of God and for His glory, vow to love, honor and serve each other faithfully, forsaking all others, until death parts them.

That's far more accurate a representation of what a Christian marriage is.   Indeed, that's what is actually is in fact.

"I like rubbing your nose in who you are given that you (sic)  spine bends that far back."

Since the first time he's darkened this blog by his arrogant and condescending presence, as if he's ever presented reason to justify such attitudes, he has either failed to understand who I am, or, more likely, lacks the honesty to acknowledge who I am.  For example, despite repeated requests for evidence to support the charge, he likes to think I'm racist.  I've no doubt that's just his self-loathing white guilt talking and I pray that when he gets the psychological counseling he so desperately needs then that issue will be addressed as well as all the others.

As to spine, I'm not sure exactly what he means there.  But he hasn't demonstrated he has the spine to engage in honest discourse without the nasty, hateful pettiness.  He likely is referring to his charge that I dodge his accusations or something to that effect.  An absurd charge to say the least.  It's a defensive tactic when faced with that which his "intellect" fails to provide a legitimate and compelling response.  I'd actually have to be an incredible coward to run from the lame and infantile rhetoric and accusations he constantly puts forth.  I mean, it's not like he offers up anything that I'd consider a real stumper.  And the question (more of a demand, really) to which I referred is a good example:

"Try to explain to me how baking a cake for a gay wedding supports gay marriage but voting for a racist isn't supporting racism."

No "trying" required, first of all. 

To provide anything for the celebration of sexual immorality, which he refers to as "a 'gay' wedding", is to take part in the celebration.  That's obvious.  It doesn't matter whether one provides a product or service for free or if one charges for doing so.  It is taking part in the celebration either way.  Certainly, one's participation ends once the product or service is delivered, but taking part it is nonetheless.  Promoters of sexual immorality like to pretend that isn't the case, but the whole purpose of the product or service being requested is to celebrate that immoral and depraved union.  To provide that product or service acknowledges that the union of two of the same sex can actually be a marriage.  Such acknowledgement is support for the notion.  As such a union cannot be a marriage, to acknowledge the union of a same-sex couple is to affirm that it can.  That's called support for the notion.  "You are charged with supporting the revolution against our president!"  "No!  I just provided the guns!"  That dog, as they say, just won't hunt.

The question seeks to prove that I support a racist.  There are two problems with this:

1.  Trump isn't a racist and there's no evidence, hard or otherwise, that proves he is.  There is evidence he is not.  For instance:

Of course to sad and pathetic self-loathing people suffering from white guilt, if you're white, you're racist.  That's feo.

2.  But let's assume that I voted for an actual racist, just for the sake of argument.  Does that mean that I support racism?  It certainly would be if I was a racist as well, and voted for the person because the person's a racist.  But might there be legitimate reasons why one might vote for a racist?   Of course.  It's the lesser of two evils dynamic, just like it was in reality with the choice between Trump and Clinton:  the desire to prevent a far worse candidate from winning.  I don't have to like a person personally in order to vote for that person, particularly if I think that person, despite that person's faults, is unquestionably a better choice than the other person, or said another way, that the other person is far worse and needs to never win an election ever.

What's more, a racist (or any other foul person) who is a conservative, or simply favors most of the same things I favor, would be the better choice over the other person whose positions I totally oppose.  And that's another point of relevance.  Trump is not a free trade guy.  I am.  But does my vote for him mean I support protectionism?  In politics, as in love, it's next to impossible to find a perfect fit in an off the rack world.

Of course, it would be hard to find a conservative who is a racist.  Racists are almost always leftists who vote Democrat...the party of racists.  feo's a racist.  He hates his own race.  By his logic, allowing him to comment here means I support racism.  But I clearly don't support anything about a sad and pathetic little "man" like feo, except his visiting here to engage in discourse in a respectful and courteous manner regardless of who attacks him personally...because he'll be deleted if he doesn't.  He's earned that special status.

So that should answer his question quite completely.  Let's see if he's smart enough and honest enough to acknowledge that it has been answered, and answered in a manner that can no longer allow him to pretend I've supported racism by voting for Trump.  Don't anybody hold their breath.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Sad, Pathetic Little "Man"

Just a short note:  feo is not banned from this blog.  That's the first thing that needs to be said.   I am more than willing to engage with those of disparate positions and opinions and to provide the opportunity for such to fully present them.  That's never been a problem for me.  I welcome it more than agreement with the like-minded.

But feo isn't willing to engage.  From his first visit to this blog, he's done little more than assert, condescend, insult and attack, all without a shred of supporting evidence.  This is a guy who claims a vast educational background including seminary training.  His demeanor, prideful, arrogant and as I said, condescending, belies any claims of Christian devotion.  And like Dan, his support for sexual immorality and the murder of innocents also suggests otherwise.  As such, he has long since worn out his welcome as if his only goal is to be banned outright and with extreme prejudice.

But feo doesn't get to call the shots here.  Instead, he now has very strict guidelines for maintaining his welcome.  From this point forward, be it commenting on this post, or any future or past post, he is now required to be the kindest, most gracious and humble visitor to this blog.  No insults, no condescension, no arrogance, no profane or obscene talk or words of any kind.  The standards his ongoing, unrepentant behavior has invited has put him in a very special and unique category.  He must maintain these high standards even in the face of direct and purposeful attack and provocation directed at him by absolutely anyone else.  Any comment he posts that is in breach of these standards will result in the deletion of the comment as soon as I read it.

To all others, know that should you respond to a comment by feo that is anything less than saintly in tone, it may appear to be speaking to no one after feo's comment is deleted.  I may even delete your response as well, just for the sake of clarity.

feo needs to believe that I delete his comments because I'm afraid of the "facts" he presents, even though he doesn't post facts, or what he posts has no relevance to the topic.  And that's another standard he must uphold.  He is not free to commandeer a thread as he tries to do with too much frequency.  He is free to request that I cover a topic, but he is not free to go off on tangents or to attempt to start a new discussion unrelated to the topic at hand. 

I've always maintained that it isn't so much name-calling that's a problem in today's culture.  It's the unjustified name-calling.  That is, as an example, feo constantly calling me a racist without ever...EVER having offered even one bit of evidence in support of the charge.  Opposing, say, affirmative action policy, Barack Obama's presidency or rioting by blacks after a black thug is killed while committing a crime, is not evidence of racism in the least.  BUT, feo is allowed to say, in the nicest way possible (as judged by me), "I think your position is racist, and here's why..." which is likely to begin a legitimate back and forth (until he reverts to his usual prideful and hateful ways). 

As I type this, feo may well be posting his usual hateful drivel.  Those comments are not long for this blog.  I'm suggesting there will never again be a comment of feo's that does not get deleted, because he doesn't have the character to act as if he actually has the character of a Christian.   If anyone wants to start a pool, let me know here.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Obama Made Us Safer? Uh...

In a recent discussion from not too long ago, Dan assured us that Barry Obumble has made us safer.   While that's a laughable suggestion on its face, given the rise in terrorist activity here and abroad, I just saw this article that proves just how ludicrous the claim is.  While the article speaks specifically about the Democratic-led city of Chicago (led by former Obama co-hort Rahm Emanuel), it contains this gem as well:

"According to this FBI report, violent crime in the U.S. increased a little more than five percent the first half of last year." (2016)

Chicago, and two suburban cities, Elgin and Joliet, saw much larger increases in violent crime. 

The claim, therefore, that Obama somehow made us safer is not supported by law enforcement.

What's more, despite Obama's claim that no terrorist organization has attacked our nation during his administration, that's a hollow victory to say the least, given the several so-called "lone wolf" attacks, such as the Boston Marathon Bombers, the San Bernardino shootings and various other examples of islamist inspired murders. 

Chicago just hosted Obama's farewell address before adoring chumps to whom he could say anything and be believed as if he spoke the truth.  This article provides us with this morsel for our consumption:

"A few hours prior to the event and while people were arriving there was a carjacking and holdup involving a gun not too far from the venue."


And several miles from the Obamas' Chicago home, police reported two bodies found in a vacant South Side building."

Yeah.  He's made us so much safer.  I don't know how a 5% rise in violent crime translates into a safer nation.