Comics, Hollywood, Movies

‘Captain America: Civil War’ trailer arrives, Steven Spielberg wipes egg off his face

Tony Stark War Machine

The trailer for ‘Captain America: Civil War’ premiered on Tuesday night, and somewhere out there Steven Spielberg of “superhero movies will go the way of the Western” fame wiped egg off his face.

For those who don’t remember, he told The Hollywood Reporter Sept. 2:

Two years ago, Steven Spielberg famously predicted an “implosion” of the movie industry because of its over-reliance on big budget summer blockbusters. In the wake of the success of Jurassic World, which Spielberg produced, that hasn’t changed, he says.

“I still feel that way,” Spielberg told The Associated Press while promoting Bridge of Spies, his upcoming Cold War-era thriller. “We were around when the Western died and there will be a time when the superhero movie goes the way of the Western. It doesn’t mean there won’t be another occasion where the Western comes back and the superhero movie someday returns.”

Spielberg didn’t “predict” anything because his diagnosis of what ails the movie industry is not even correct. It has been big-budget summer blockbusters allowing the industry to tread water now that Hollywood is just one of many outlets Americans use for entertainment and escapism. But I digress.

Tony Stark says to Steve Rogers:

Stark: Captain, you seem a little defense.

Rogers: Well, it’s been a long day.

Stark: If we can’t accept limitations, we’re no better than the bad guys.

Rogers: That’s not the way I see it.

Stark: Sometimes I want to punch you in your perfect teeth.

Boom. Stark nails it.

In a world populated with beings as strong as gods, capable of mind control, or able to alter space and time, the federal government would have a vested interest in knowing who those individuals were. To not track human nuclear bombs walking among the civilian population would constitute a level of negligence by elected officials worthy of prison time.

Tony Stark Rhodey Civil War

The problem Marvel will face on the big screen will be the same one faced by its comic book writers — who failed miserably with Civil War. They heavily put their thumb on the scale to make Steve Rogers the “good guy” and Tony Stark the “bad guy” instead of telling a nuanced tale.

Captain America Civil War

If directors Anthony and Joe Russo demanded more of their writers than Marvel Comics did with Civil War, then fans may get the best MCU movie to date. If they did not, then Steve Rogers will once find himself fighting for Kilgrave’s “right” to anonymously rape young girls.

Bucky Winter Soldier

Will the MCU be one where it’s right for the government to demand an ID to get a drivers license but wrong if a man has the power to blow up an entire city? Let us hope the Russo brothers once again rise above the petty politics routinely demonstrated by Marvel’s comic book writers. If they do, then Mr. Speilberg will be picking egg out of his beard for many years to come.

Defense, Obama Administration, Terrorism

Obama’s delusional demand for Air Force a gift for ISIL

Obama hands AP image

President Obama has a demand for U.S. Air Force personnel that is so delusional that it is hard not to question his mental health. The Islamic State group hides among civilians. It holds large swathes of territory in Iraqi and Syrian cities. Mr. Obama, however, expects the U.S. Air Force to prosecute an air campaign with zero civilian casualties.

Rep. Ed Royce, R-California, told the Washington Free Beacon Nov. 18 that roughly 75 percent of the clear shots on ISIL targets are called off due to the president’s rules of engagement.

“You went 12 full months while ISIS was on the march without the U.S. using that air power and now as the pilots come back to talk to us they say three-quarters of our ordnance we can’t drop, we can’t get clearance even when we have a clear target in front of us,” Rep. Royce, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said. “I don’t understand this strategy at all because this is what has allowed ISIS the advantage and ability to recruit.”

Things got downright scary when retired four-star U.S. general Jack Keane detailed the president’s impossible demand:

He told the Free Beacon:

“When we agreed we were going to do air power and the military said, this is how it would work, he [Obama] said, ‘No, I do not want any civilian casualties.’ And the response was, ‘But there’s always some civilian casualties. We have the best capability in the world to protect from civilians casualties.’ [Obama’s response], ‘No, you don’t understand. I want no civilian casualties. Zero.’ So that has driven our so-called rules of engagement to a degree we have never had in any previous air campaign from desert storm to the present.”

If the president of the United States is not willing to seriously use ground troops — if he is reliant on air strikes for his anti-ISIL strategy to succeed — he cannot realistically ask the U.S. Air Force for zero civilian casualties.

Mr. Obama is either completely detached from reality, or militarily twiddling his thumbs until his time in office ends. Instead of showing real leadership against an enemy who quickly adapts to changing battlefield conditions, the president seems content to vote “present” on the world stage.

The safety and security of the American people has now been abdicated to men like Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mr. Obama asked for an then accepted a job he was ill-equipped to handle. His fantasy-land demands for the U.S. military will result in dead Americans (possibly on U.S. soil), and when that happens much of the blame will rest on his shoulders.

Politics, Religion, Sports

Fans chant ‘Allahu Akbar!’ during terror victim ceremony; Comparison to Green Bay telling

Turkey soccer team

A moment of silence for Paris terror attack victims in Green Bay, Wisconsin, was ruined when a single fan out of 78,000 screamed “Muslims suck!” The outburst was condemned by Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers.

Two days later a stadium filled with 17,000 Turkish soccer fans shouted “Allahu Akbar!” during a similar ceremony in Istanbul. One would think the two incidents would be worthy of comparison, but for the most part media would like to just do the, “Move, along. Move along. Nothing to see here” coverage.

Time magazine covered both incidents, but there was zero mention of Lambeau Field’s fans during coverage of the fiasco at Basaksehir Fatih Terim Stadium.

Here is what Rogers said after last Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions:

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers publicly called out the fan who made the remark during his postgame press conference, .

“I think it’s important to do things like [the moment of silence]. We’re a connected world, you know — six degrees of separation,” he said. “I must admit, though, I was very disappointed with whoever the fan was who made a comment that I thought was really inappropriate, during the moment of silence. It’s that kind of prejudicial ideology that I think puts us in the position that we’re in today, as a world.”

In a different world, Rogers would be able to acknowledge just how amazing it is that in a stadium filled with 78,000 fans who just tailgated for an hour prior to taking their seats, only a single fan decided to make an outburst like a character straight out of an Adam Sandler movie.

In a different world, reporters would circle back with Rogers and ask him what it means when thousands of fans in Turkey chant “Allahu Akbar!” during a moment of silence for the 129 killed and 350 injured in last Friday’s terror attacks.

Aaron Rogers press conference

Here is what Time reported in response to Nov. 17’s fiasco in Istanbul:

The incident, reported by Reuters and other news outlets and depicted in videos uploaded to Twitter, took place before the Turkey vs. Greece game, as the players from both teams stood silent to honor the 129 people who died during the attacks last week. One well-known commentator on Islamic issues wrote on his Facebook page that “it has become common practice for Turkish fans to chant during moments of silence [to] honor the victims.”

But the Turkish team’s manager condemned the fans’ behavior, saying it damaged the country’s image internationally. “If we don’t act like we did today, we can prevent sports from being sacrificed to terrorism,” he was quoted as saying.

The Green Bay fan who screamed “Muslims suck!” acted very much like a pathetic clown, but it should not be lost on Americans that such individuals are often responding to the very-real culture of intolerance permeating the Middle East and North Africa.

Think about how sick and twisted a culture would have to be in order to get thousands of attendees at national soccer game to chant “Allahu Akbar!” during a ceremony for terror victims.

If Aaron Rogers wants to really experience “prejudicial ideology that … puts us in the position that we’re in today,” then perhaps he should buy a few tickets to sporting events in the Middle East.


Dan Slott slimes ‘gun owners’; Marvel would fire writer for similar tweet about ‘Muslims’

Dan Slott gun

It was only days ago that Marvel writer Dan Slott talked to Newsarama about internet “dicks.” The comic book “news” site saw nothing ironic about asking the guy who regularly acts like an unprofessional clown on social media to espouse on his critics. That is probably part of the reason he has started up again with political attacks that would get him fired if he switched out subjects like “gun owners” with “Muslims.”

Take the following Dan Slott tweet: “Ever notice how every gun owner who tweets is a responsible gun owner? My theory: All irresponsible ones have shot up their keyboards.”

What would Dan Slott think of someone if he came across a tweet like: “Ever notice how every Muslim is a responsible Muslim? My theory: All irresponsible Muslims have prematurely detonated their suicide vests.”

That would be incredibly mean and uncalled for since the vast majority of American Muslims break no laws — just as millions of American gun owners break no laws. A tweet like that would be a low blow and the hallmark of a very immature man.

Ask yourself this question: Why is Dan Slott a “gregarious” guy when he slimes patriotic Americans who have broken no laws, when in your heart-of-hearts you know The Amazing Spider-Man writer would go off on an epic rant if you took his own tweets about “gun owners” and tweaked them to target “Muslims”?

Who said Mr. Slott was “gregarious,” you ask?

Answer: Newsarama (Jim McLauchlin wouldn’t want to risk losing his access to the writer, now would he?)

When it comes to the Internet and comic books, people can be d**ks. Obsessive d**ks. …

We slap labels on all things Internet. It’s a “virtual” world. But virtual can crash into real in a hurry when he Internet Rage Machine gets cranking. But what is the Machine? Is the Rage misplaced? And what fiefdom do you live in? …

Dan Slott, Marvel’s Amazing Spider-Man writer, muses that “I could write whole books on this,” but gets very itchy, declining to cite specific examples.

“You never want to let that guy know he got under your skin, and you never want to show people examples of bad behavior to emulate,” he says.

Slott is a gregarious, friendly guy who’s always willing to interact with fans on Twitter and the like. It’s where he’s from.

On the whole, Slott tries to measure his online interactions. He recently called the aggregate a “heightened reality,” where the bright spots get brighter, but the dark areas show up so much darker.

Again, Newsarama found nothing ironic at all about the guy who can flip like a switch between opining on social media “dark spaces” and attacking Marvel readers who exercise rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

Dan Slott Second Amendment

The reason why Dan Slott got “itchy” about citing examples of critics who get under his skin is because he knows this blog is one of the few places calling him out on his mean-spirited Twitter feed (it’s okay if he attacks the “right” targets — emphasis on “right”).

And remember: Dan Slott is done “wasting time on hate” — even though it’s obvious to any objective observer that he spends plenty of time dishing it out.

Perhaps it doesn’t count if you don’t agree with him politically. Once you dehumanize a person it’s okay to mock and ridicule them, right Mr. Slott?

Dan Slott Twitter
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to catch up on the latest Newsarama piece. It’s the one that is quick to call out internet “dicks” without ever asking unprofessional writers to explain their own troubling behavior.

Exit Question:

Consider the following from Newsarama:

The world is full of problems: Ebola, ISIS, potholes, global warming, and more. So you’d think people would spend their time doing something more productive than railing on about Spider-Man.

Newsarama — a site that depends on traffic generated by people who are interested in comic books — will immediately criticize Spider-Man fans who enjoy discussing Spider-Man, but it has nothing to say about Spider-Man’s actual writer for his unprovoked political attacks on entire groups of law-abiding Americans. At what point does Newsarama just admit its role as Marvel’s shameless handmaiden?

Defense, Politics, Terrorism

French father tells son ‘flowers’ stop terror; ISIS school hands kids guns

A French father tells his young child that “flowers” can protect him from the Islamic State group. A teacher at a school run by ISIL hands children guns and instructs them to kill infidels.

Question: At what point does a man’s “peace at any cost” rhetoric become delusional, dangerous, and downright insulting to those who provide for the common defense?

French father flowersFrench father flowers 2French father flowers 3French flowers.jpgISIS Afghanistan schoolISIS Afghanistan infidel

The first interview came from Le Petit Journal. The second story comes from Frontline PBS’ “ISIS in Afghanistan.” In both cases, however, we see men at the far ends of an ideological spectrum.

In the case of the French father mourning last Friday’s terror attacks in Paris, he does a disservice to the child by inculcating a worldview that flat-out rejects the need for those who put their lives on the line to secure peace.

French SWAT doors

The death count in France stands at 129. How many more would have died if brave S.W.A.T. teams weren’t willing to charge into a room with men unloading AK-47s?

Police didn’t storm into the Bataclan concert hall with flowers — they went in with armor and their own weapons.

It is possible to ease a scared child’s mind without filling it with symbolic messages John Lennon would cheer after an acid trip.

Whether America and its allies want to admit it or not, we are in a clash of civilizations. World history is littered with lawlessness and tyranny. Western Civilization helped spark a period of time where universal human rights and the rule of law actually mattered. Freedom and liberty were never preserved by men with flowers because we live in a fallen world, and that is not about to change in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

In order to maintain history’s few outposts of freedom, we will need to raise men and women who are up to task. Teaching children there is nothing worth fighting and dying for is a surefire recipe for failure.


Nick Spencer lectures world on refugees; Marvel writer silent on how many he’ll accept into his home

Nick Spencer Marvel

Marvel’s Nick Spencer used the Paris terror attacks on Friday as an opportunity to remind the world of its duty to accept millions of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa.

His conclusion: Refusing to force towns like Sumte, Germany (population: 100), to accept 750 people from Syria, Iraq, and Libya is a win for the Islamic State group. Strangely, he refused to say how many he would take into his own home. How about five? Does five work? If Smute,Germany, can be outnumbered 7-to-1 overnight, then Marvel’s Captain America scribe should be able to handle a Syrian family of five.

Nick Spencer ISIS

We don’t know exactly where the thousands of refugees that make it to the U.S. will wind up, but Business Insider assures us they will be able to eventually make contact with Nick Spencer — if he’s willing to put his money where his mouth is.

Business Insider reported Sept. 12:

Those who have relatives in the United States will sometimes be assigned to live near them, and most go to cities like Atlanta, San Diego or Dallas where rents are more affordable than in New York or San Francisco.

Others end up in smaller cities like Boise, Idaho or Erie, Pennsylvania, but regardless of where they are taken they are free to move once they find their footing.

Sure, Mr. Spencer will have to buy less tweed jackets from J-Crew or Banana Republic, but he’ll finally be able to rest easy. He’ll know in his heart that he’s finally doing more than self-righteously pontificating on his social media moral pedestal.

Refugee count UN

CBS refugees

NIck Spencer refugees

Mr. Spencer, an activist masquerading as a comic book writer, says the “goal of ISIS” is to get countries (what about Captain America writers?) to stop accepting migrants. The odd thing about liberal activists like Mr. Spencer is that they only take Islamic radicals at their word when it suits the liberal-activist agenda.


It is not hard to find Islamic radicals who say they plan to achieve their long-term strategic objectives through various means (e.g., migration coupled with high birth rates). One needs to only look at London and Paris — and soon Berlin — to see Islamic radicals are masters at playing long-ball.

If you get a chance, let Mr. Spencer know that you can’t wait until he starts taking single men off Germany’s hands. It’s always nice to see comic book writers practice what they preach.

Exit Question: Nick Spencer is the type of guy who likes to take shots at Christians with comments like, “42 percent of Americans believe the world was created in six days.” Sure, time to God is not like time to man — and it is understandable that smarmy writers will not get that humans use imperfect language to describe the actions of a perfect being beyond our comprehension — but I digress.

What are the chances Nick Spencer would ever tweet something along the lines of, “78 percent of all incoming refugees believe the death penalty is appropriate for those who reject Islam“?

In Mr. Spencer’s world, taking weird pot-shots at Christians is totally acceptable, but voicing concerns about mass Islamic-migration on the day of a giant terrorist attack in downtown Paris is out of line. Telling.

Nick Spencer politics

Defense, Terrorism

Paris terror attacks expose idiocy of American college activists, ‘safe spaces’ for ‘hurtful’ words

Paris attack emergency workers

American college students spent the last week demanding “safe spaces” on campuses because people can be jerks — and then the Paris terror attacks exposed them all as a bunch of pathetic babies.

A university president resigned on Monday because a bunch of sheltered kids didn’t realize human beings were capable of doing something as bizarre as scrawling “poo-swastikas” on bathroom walls — and then a group of terrorists slaughtered over 100 innocent people across Paris.

Reuters reported Friday:

For the second time in less than a year, France and the world are asking how carnage could strike at the heart of this much-loved city, including at a concert hall barely a few hundred steps from January’s deadly attack on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

“As we went to our car we saw dozens of people running out of the Bataclan,” local resident Caterina Giardino, an Italian national, said of the 19th century theatre-turned-music venue where gunman clad in black systematically killed nearly 100.

“Many of them were covered with blood, people were screaming,” she added, sitting on a bench with a friend as she recalled how one young man emerged from the concert hall with the bloody imprint of a hand on his shirt.

The exact sequence of gun and bomb assaults on the concert hall, a sports stadium and restaurants in the French capital that left at least 120 dead is still unclear. …

For his government, as for the French, the coming days are likely to raise as many questions as answers.

To add insult to injury, ABC News aired Millennials’ favorite politician, President Barack Obama, hours earlier saying ISIL was “contained.” (The segment was taped on Thursday.)

“I don’t think they’re gaining strength. What is true is that from the start, our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq, and in Syria they’ll come in, they’ll leave, but you don’t see this systemic march by ISIL across the terrain.” — Barack Obama. Nov. 13, 2015. ABC News, Good Morning America.

Regular readers of this blog will note that it was only two days ago that I said, “Sometimes, people say mean things. It apparently hurts [Ithaca college students’] feelings more than it hurts the skulls and spinal cords of gay men thrown off tall buildings by the Islamic State group in Syria. And so, there must be a “no confidence” vote in Ithaca College president Tom Rochon.


Mark Steyn echoed this sentiment Friday in his excellent piece “The Barbarians Are Inside, And There Are No Gates.”

Twenty-four hours ago, I said on the radio apropos the latest campus “safe space” nonsense: This is what we’re going to be talking about when the mullahs nuke us.

Almost. When the Allahu Akbar boys opened fire, Paris was talking about the climate-change conference due to start later this month, when the world’s leaders will fly in to “solve” a “problem” that doesn’t exist rather than to address the one that does. But don’t worry: we already have a hashtag (#PrayForParis) and doubtless there’ll be another candlelight vigil of weepy tilty-headed wankers. Because as long as we all advertise how sad and sorrowful we are, who needs to do anything?

#PrayForMizzou. #BringBackourGirls. #MillionStudentMarch. #Kony2012.

The Twitter hashtag can be leveraged to disseminate important information and inspire people to action, but most Americans simply use it to convey that they care. They really, really care. Unfortunately for them, solving complex problems require more than just words. It requires action, sacrifice, and an ability to deal with conflict, which is something “safe space” junkies are not willing to provide.

If you get a chance, pray for the victims of the Paris terror attack — but do it alone in your room at night and then don’t tell anyone about it. In short, do the exact opposite with college activists standing in the middle of a quad with a bullhorn typically do. You’ll be glad you did.