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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!

American Assassin

If you liked the movie Jack Ryan:  Shadow Recruit you will like this movie.  It is your basic spy movie with lots of fighting, guns, and killing.  It is based on the Vince Flynn book and while not the same as the book it is in the same spirit.  Michael Keaton plays the old trainer who teaches our hero Mitch Rapp.  Keaton was a great pick.  Who is better to train a top American Assassin than Batman.  There are a lot of Rapp books by Flynn, so I hope we get more.

Mother!

This is not a horror movie, so don't go into it thinking you are getting a horror.  It is a strange movie with a lot of symbolism. There is some good acting, but overall the movie is just weird.  It is more concerned with symbolism than just telling an interesting story.

SPOILER ALERT. The symbolism in this movie is biblical.  And the story is basically about God and Mother nature.  It is about how we are killing the earth and how God is selfish wanting love of people instead of just the love of the earth.  It tells the story of Adam and Eve, Cain and Able, and even Jesus being born, sacrificed, and then we eating Jesus body and blood.

Wind River

This is one of those good mystery thriller movies.  They mystery and how the story revolves around a community reminds me of Gone Baby Gone.  There is emotion and pain.  There is people who connect and others that are punished.  At the end you are at peace even if you are sad for tragedy.  Overall a very good movie, that moves along, allows good people to be good, and bad to be bad.  Jeremy Reiner gives one of best performances and I could see an Oscar nod. 

It

Was It scary?  Yes.  Was It gory?  Kinda.  Was It good?  Defiantly.  It is scary, but it is strange scary.  There are so many different nightmares.  Sometimes you know where the scare is coming and sometimes you don't.   And so much of it us done in the light, instead of complete darkness.  The kids all do a very good job and the guy who plays Pennywise gives a performance that I would say is Oscar worthy.  It is one of the best Stephen King movies and might be his best scary movie (The Shawshank Redemption is his best movie). It feels like a mash up of The Shining, Stranger Things, and A Nightmare on Elm Street.  I don't usually want to see a scary movie twice, but this is one that might want to see again to see what I missed.

Columbus

It was very strange to watch a movie that takes place in my hometown.  To see the places you recognize on the big screen is very cool.  The visuals and sounds of the movie a very impressive and are the stars of the film.  The director's focus was on the architecture of Columbus and just the simple sounds that surrounds these places.  The story is mediocre and the acting is subpar, except for John Cho.  Cho was very good and you see why he is a major actor in movies like Star Trek.  What I didn't like was the senseless use of the F-word and the actors smoking.  It just didn't fit. There are also a few funny parts that only residence of Columbus will understand.  One mistake was when are stars pick up a 6-pack of cold beer at a gas station.  But in Indiana you can't buy cold beer at a gas station.  Overall the movie is beautifully shot and done from the perspective of the cities structures.

Confederate Statues and Memorials

I've actually been struggling with the issue of Confederate statues and memorials.  I can see how these statues and memorials could be offensive to some people.  It does represent a terrible time in our past.  Some have compared them to the Nazi concentration camps that are still standing in Germany today.  They are reminder of the terrible things that happened, so we don't allow it to be repeated.   But the difference is the statues and memorials of the Confederate army are there to honor them, not as a reminder of the terrible injustice of slavery.

But comparing the Southern states and the Confederate army to the Nazis is wrong.   The Nazis were about world domination and genocide against the Jews, the disabled, and those they deemed unfit.  The Confederate army were fighting for their rights as states and those rights that were guaranteed to them in the Constitution.  Also only the very rich owned slaves.  Only 8% of the population in southern states actually owned slaves.   And some of our greatest founders like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were slave owners. There were even some blacks slave owners and blacks that fought for the Confederate army.  Of course here we are taking about a small minority from 1% to at most 10%.  But it goes to the fact that slavery wasn't something unique to America.  Slavery has been with us since almost the beginning of time.  Slavery was even in the Bible with men like Abraham, David, and Solomon all owning slaves. 

But what we need to do is ask ourselves what is the purpose of the Confederate statues and memorials?  I think for most people that defend statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and memorials for Confederate soldiers it isn't about racism or supporting slavery.  Instead it is about remembering their history and those that fought for their rights.  And I tend to usually fall on the side of protecting history, instead of erasing history.

But what should we do about these statues and memorials?  First the people in these states should be allowed to vote or allow their elected officials to decide if they are going to keep these statues and memorials. If the people of these states decide to get rid of them they can either allow private citizens, groups, or organisation have these statues and memorials  or even buy them.  Then as long as they are placed on private property then that should be okay, because it is protected free speech. The states could move them to museums that can put these statues and memorials into context and address the issue of slavery while preserving history.  They could also just add plaques and stands next to these things to remind people about slavery and truth about their history.  And these states should consider not ever adding any new statues or memorials on public property.  The state's could also just decided to tear down the statues and memorials if that is what the people want and feel is right.  But whatever is done needs to be done lawfully and peaceably.

But what I do not agree with are groups and mobs tearing down statues and memorials.  Any one person or mob of people that destroy public or private property is wrong.  And these groups that either support or are against these statues and memorials who act out in violence are wrong and shouldn't be allowed to continue.

We need to remember that these statues and memorials have been in place for years and decades.  There were no issue with them during 8 years of Obama.  So the fact that this is an issue now should raise questions on why now and who is behind this.  I think most of this is about dividing us as a nation and creating chaos.  The far far left like ANTIFA and the far far right like the White Supremacy do not represent the vast vast majority of us on the left, right, or center in American politics.

This isn't an easy subject, but if we use reason and logic we should be able to come to a compromise.   We need to be men and women of the mine and not just the heart.  We need to think before we act and make decisions based on reason and not just emotion.  And we need to remember that more free speech and more learning about history is a good thing.  Free speech protects the speech you hate as much as the speech you like.

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.