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Chuck Baker is Right! Well, I am. What I mean is that my friends always joke that I’m always right (or at least I think I am). The thing is I don’t say anything, unless I know I’m right. So it's not that I’m right about everything, but usually when I speak I know what I’m talking about. My dad always said, “Don’t speak unless you know your right.” This blog includes many subjects like religion, politics, business, movies, sports, and more. On the left you will see options to search this blog, see popular posts, a catalog of posts, and favorite links. Enjoy!

Goggle Free Expression

Was Google right to fire their employee for the 10 page internal memo he sent?  I do support at-will employment and think employers can fire anyone they want.  But the reason I say they might not be right in firing him is based on the statemnet that Google's CEO sent after reading the memo.

"First, let me say that we strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves, and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it."

That quote alone sets up a standard that the company accepts different points of views and wants employees to express themselves.   How is the employee to know they have "crossed the line" especially since he felt he was offering advise to help.   Here is something he said in the memo.

"I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don't endorse using stereotypes. When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at population level differences in distributions. If we can't have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem."

He said he wants to help solve the problem.   Maybe his theories and ideas are wrong or maybe he is right.   I'm not debating that, instead I'm asking is it okay for Google to fire him.  If Google truly supports "the right of Googlers to express themselves" then they can't pick and choose what Googlers express.   At the very least when they feel someone has crossed a line, then they to let that employee know and try to fix the situation.

I think Google should have sat down with the employee and talked about what issues they had with the memo.  They could have asked him to issue a statement to apologize or if they couldn't come to an agreement then part ways.   But if you are going to encourage employees to open free expression, then you have to be willing to at least work someone who expresses something you don't like.  

If Google doesn't want free expression of ideas,  like most companies just make that clear.   Let employees know they are expected to tow the company line or they can find another job.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Plants

A city of a thousand planets and we were stuck watching two boring twenty somethings that couldn't act.  The story was long and boring.  The visuals were okay, but disappointing considering I saw the movie in 3D.  They sent little to no time on the love story and of course even in space the bad guy is a white guy.  The movie is basically a bad version of The Fifth Element without Bruce Willis.   The actors are terrible and by the end I just wanted it to end.  I did like the beginning were we see peace with other people and aliens through a simple handshake.

Atomic Blonde

So the movie started really strong, but then just got long and boring.  If it hadn't been for the final twist ending in the last 5 minutes, I would have given it 1 1/2 stars.  The movie wants to be both a female Jason Bourne and John Wick.   But the fact she uses more bronze, than brains just makes it hard to believe.   She gets guys straight in the face and doesn't go down.  Come on.  And the lesbian love affair kinda comes out of know where and is more of an excuse for a lesbian sex scene.  Overall an okay action movie, that could have been a really good spy movie set during the fall of the Berlin wall.  I will say the music was very good.  Love the old and new versions of 80's songs

The Dark Tower

This is the movie based on the collection of books by Stephen King called The Dark Tower.  But it isn't an adaptation of the book or books, but a sequel to the books.  Spoiler Alert for anyone who hasn't read the books: the story is circular as it ends where it begins.  But when you start a story over it doesn't mean it has to be the same.  Like a movie that deals with time travel and the same day is repeated, but with different outcomes and choices (Live, Die, Repeat or Groundhog Day). The same Is true here with the story repeating its self, but with different outcomes and choices then in the books.  But if you haven't read the books It doesn't matter and if you have it is familiar but different too.  It is a continuation of the books, not a true adaptation.   If you go into it like that I think it you can enjoy it even having read the books or not.  The movie has lots of action and moves along quickly.  It doesn't get wrapped up in the backstory or over explaining details.  There are a few cool Easter Eggs that refer back to other King books.  Overall for me what made the Dark Tower books so good were the characters.  And the movie is about the characters and their connection.  And while the books don't give us a conclusion, this movie does and still sets up for more.  As a fan of the books I was happy, because I got to see Roland, Jake, and The Man in Black.

Transgender and the Military

Transgender have a high rate of suicide and many suffer with PTSD.  Do you think it is a good idea to send someone to war that already has a high risk of mental breakdown? 

Have we already forgotten that one of the biggest security breaches in American history was committed by a transgender man Bradley (Chelsee) Manning?  And when he did it he didn't even try to hide he was the one leaking the info to Wiki Leaks.   Many people were confused as to why he would be so open about it.  Why did he do it?  You could argue it was because of a mental breakdown.

If someone is transgender and taking the meds to change gender, then that should make them ineligible.   Just like how people who take meds for diabetes, high blood pressure, or any number of reasons.   You can't have flat feet and join the military.   If they are in combat and taking meds it can be dangerous if they are unable to keep getting their meds.  They have to go through medical and behavioral health to transitio.  If a soldier who is in transition, then they would be denied serving in combat, so let's say 1 or 10 soldiers were transitioning, that means a unit just lost up to 10 soldiers for deployment and that hurts readiness.

And what is readiness?  If a soilder has a broken leg, diagnosed with anxiety, diagnosed with depression, has a sleep disorder, then they aren't combat ready. On top of that someone that is transitioning will have routine medical visits which disrupts training cycles and puts more burden on others. The surgery is the smallest cost. It's the intangables, it's the time lost, it's the disruptions in the daily routine, in the risk of degradation of combat effectivness. It's the extra burden put on leaders at all levels, the extra PC and feelings training and hours of corporate office type lectures forced upon the members of the military.  

The Military dosen't have the same rights, standards, or even freedoms the average American citizen has and for good reason  It is built to fight and win wars.

Obama didn't make this change to allow transgenders until the last 2 months of his administration.   It wasn't important to him for 8 years.  He did this just to cause issues for Trump to deal with.

And don't give me any crap about the military paying for Viagra.   Men who need Viagra most often is due to other major heath issues like diabetes, heart disease, prostate issues, and cancer.  Would you really deny helping a solider who suffered from a disease?  The military is always looking to save money, but at the same time they want to offer benefits that help the most people.  There are only 6000 to 15000 transgenders in the military compared to the larger number of men that suffer from ED.  By cutting transgenders they save money an affect the least amount of people.

Trump said this decision was based on the advise of the generals and other military leaders.  I will trust them over the PC crowd.

Finally, we are taking about making special accommodations for less than 1% of the entire military.   The military is not a social experiment.  It is a fighting force to fight wars and keep peace.

(Some of my comments are made by and direct quotes from some of my military friends, but I don't want to involve them in my post.  I don't feel it is fair to involve them directly with this post to cause them any issue of backlash.  But know my view is based in part on their insight and feedback.)

No Respect For McCain

I respect John McCain's service to our country in Vietnam and consider him a hero.  But as a Senator I have no respect for him.   He has betrayed the GOP voting against the Senate bill to replace Obamacare.   He didn't keep his word to replace Obamacare and he didn't for one reason...Trump.  I think he so hates Trump that he voted no just to hurt him.  I didn't vote for McCain for President in 2008 and I'm still glad about my decision.  McCain is a great example of why we need term limits.  Shame on you McCain.  You, Collins, and Murkowski now own Obamacare with the Democrats.

Dunkirk

Visually this is a stunning an almost perfect movie.  The music and the visuals tell the entire story. The visuals and the music are the main characters. It is not a movie that tries to bring out an emotion, but simply let's you feel whatever emotion you have in you.   There are no great quotes or speeches.   There is no romance.  This is an example of the movie that Pearl Harbor should have been instead of what is was.  And unlikr Saving Private Ryan it doesn't use blood and guts to make its point about war.  Nolan has created a masterpiece that will be timeless.   This movie should earn an Oscar for best picture, director, and score.

Divergent

I came to the end of the movie asking what was the point and why should I care about going further in the movie.   I usually like movies that use the love conquers all storyline, but this one came off as hollow.   I think part of the issue is that you didn't really get to understand the extent of the political issues or why this society is on the brink of war.  Overall I just didn't care when it was over.

Million Dollar Baby

I give this movie 2 1/2 stars because I liked the first half, but the second half and the end wasn't good.  I thought I was getting a boxing movie and was going to give me an uplifting story.  Instead it was a boxing movie that didn't offer enough tough boxing matches and instead made me depressed.  Clint Eastwood was very good and the movie was well directed, but I just didn't like the overall story.

Edge of Tomorrow

This is basically Groundhog Day, but with aliens.  It is a action packed movie that deals with time travel and war with aliens.  It is smart and intense.  Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise were very good and is another example of why she can be a big star and why he is a star.