War

Feeling Clint Eastwood's Disgust

American Sniper is not a pro-war movie.

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Bradley Cooper and Clint Eastwood
Atlaspix / Alamy

Whatever Clint Eastwood's exact politics may be—kind of libertarian? sort of conservative?—his hit movie, American Sniper, waves no flags for America's involvement in the Iraq war. In a film inspired by the true story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, said to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history, Eastwood marshals deep feelings about the moral and physical destruction of war, and he flashes anger toward the higher-ups who guide young warriors to their doom. He doesn't flinch from showing us the full ugliness of combat—American forces violently invading an Iraqi home, a vicious jihadi taking a power drill to a helpless civilian—but this is in no way an old-school Hollywood war movie. Eastwood never exults in the brutal action, and throughout the film we can feel his disgust.

Over the course of four tours in Iraq, Kyle was credited with 160 confirmed enemy kills, and he was probably responsible for many more that were undocumented. The man had a terrible gift. Bradley Cooper, who acquired the film rights to Kyle's bestselling 2012 memoir early on, plays him here, bearded and bulked-up, in a performance of intense focus. Cooper has come a very long way from his breakthrough in Wedding Crashers 10 years ago. Here he portrays a difficult character, a man whose emotions are held tightly inside, by subtly projecting those feelings without parading them before us. This is a wonder to watch throughout.

We're introduced to Kyle on a rooftop in Fallujah, sighting his rifle on the street below, alert for targets. He sees an Iraqi woman stepping into the street with a boy who could be her son. She hands the boy a weapon she has brought out from beneath her chador as they both watch an American convoy that's making its way toward them through the rubble of the city. Kyle's duty is alarmingly clear, but his soul is torn.

To illustrate Kyle's divided nature, Eastwood fills in his backstory with compelling economy, flashing back to his Texas childhood. We see him out hunting with his father, dropping a deer with a difficult shot. We see the whole family in church, and later, at the family dinner table, we hear his father explaining his stern view of the world. There are three kinds of people, he says: sheep, who "don't believe evil exists"; wolves, the evil men who prey upon them; and sheepdogs, men with "the gift of aggression," a "rare breed that lives to confront the wolf." Kyle knows which sort of man his father wants him to be.

Appalled by the 1998 Al Qaeda attacks on U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Kyle enlists in the Navy and trains to join the SEALs, the service's elite sea-air-and-land division. In a bar one night, talking to the woman who will soon become his wife, he tells her, "I'd lay down my life for my country. It's the greatest country on earth."

When Kyle deploys to Iraq for the first time, Eastwood shows us how he reconciles his deepest beliefs—his religious faith, his patriotism, his family values—with his duties as, essentially, a professional killer. He appears to have no interest in the political forces in which he's caught up, and this enables him to tightly narrow his focus. He wants only to protect his fellow fighters and to dispatch the evil enemies who seek to annihilate them. Nothing else matters. But his determination to maintain this difficult mental balance begins eating him up inside.

The movie is masterfully shot and edited. It's also unexpectedly intimate, especially in the scenes with Cooper and Sienna Miller, who have a rich chemistry. Miller plays Kyle's wife as a high-spirited woman who loves her husband and the kids they've begun accruing but is distraught as she watches him turning into a stranger, spooked and uncomfortable at home and repeatedly drawn back to the never-ending war. "You did your part," she tells him. "Let somebody else go….If you think this war isn't changing you, you're wrong." But Kyle keeps returning to Iraq, where he does legendary things (taking out one jihadi killer from more than a mile away) and awful things as well. He also has to listen to fatuous officers make statements like, "These wars are won and lost in the minds of our enemies," a line at which we can almost see Eastwood cringing in revulsion.

There surely was more to the real Chris Kyle than what we see here. (He was shot to death two years ago, ironically by a troubled veteran he'd been trying to help.) But Eastwood uses the key aspects of Kyle's life with determined purpose. He doesn't seek to arouse us with the slaughter amid which the celebrated sniper spent so many of his days—the massacred civilians, the dying SEALs choking on their own blood—but to make us think about it. It's not a pretty picture, but Eastwood has made a powerful film out of it.

NEXT: Sports Stadiums Are Bad Public Investments. So Why Are Cities Still Paying for Them?

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  1. And the award for Best Plastic Baby goes to…

    1. was this ever funny?

      1. Not as funny as when Kyle got exposed for being a liar and lost the libel suit that Ventura filed against him.

        1. That would be a ‘no’, then?

          1. Not to the profiteers of the military industrial complex that grostulate over the prospect of taking tax payer money to engage a population that didn’t pose a credible threat to this country.

            In any event, I found it hilarious that Kyle got exposed for being a liar. A lot of worshippers went into denial mode. Others metriculated to a new mancrush (my guess wpuld be John Cena).

            1. In any event, I found it hilarious that Kyle got exposed for being a liar. A lot of worshippers went into denial mode. Others metriculated to a new mancrush (my guess wpuld be John Cena).

              I don’t give a shit about Chris Kyle, but I’m just really confused by what the shit you’re even trying to say here.

              1. I didn’t support the foundation of the cult of personality around Kyle so when a critical flaw was exposed I experienced schadenfreude.

                1. What does this have to do with a plastic baby in a Clint Eastwood movie or John Cena?

            2. So, “plastic baby” is actually the smartest thing you’ve said today?

              1. Did ypu get the black Cena t-shiet with the neon green “You Can’t C Me” Cena shirt or the red one?

        2. Not as funny as when Kyle got exposed for being a liar and lost the libel suit that Ventura filed against him.

          I will agree that it was hilarious watching the right-wingers try to declare Jesse Ventura evil for trying to get compensation from Kyle’s estate. Apparently if someone libels you and then dies, you’re not supposed to try and prove that they were lying.

          1. Well, of course not, if the person you’re trying to convict of libel is a member of the venerated warrior caste…

            1. Technically so is Ventura. So that’s kind of a wash.

          2. Yeah, it’s totally worth preserving your gossamer ego at the expense of a dead man’s wife and kids. Especially when you have such an esteemed public image as Jesse Ventura.

            1. Like 9/11 was not an inside job! Prove that it wasn’t! You can’t!

            2. …at the expense of a dead man’s wife and kids publisher’s insurance company.

              FTFY

            3. When Chris Kyle was alive, going after his money was also going after the money of his wife and kids, correct? So should no one ever sue anybody since family members will lose value from the estate?

              1. Yo Irish, I’m gonna be in your area until Wednesday. Wondering if you’d want to grab drinks and a steak, maybe? I don’t bite….hard.

                1. Possibly. I have stuff I have to do today, but if you want we could grab something to eat tomorrow. The Final Four is on, so we could go to a Sports Bar or something. Drop your email address in the chatroom and we’ll talk later today.

                  1. You guys hang around aol chatrooms too?

                  2. I found a more … creative way for him to contact you.

                  3. In other words, check your Facebook, Irish.

                    1. Is ‘the incident’ over with? Can I come out of hiding now? … looks around … goes back into hiding …

              2. at some point, Irish, you take the high road. The guy who wronged you is dead. Take the court’s answer of “yes” and drive on.

                1. He tried to take the high road way before the suit was even filed. The Kyle’s responded by trying to pay him off. Kyle was a liar, and he profited from his lies at the expense of Ventura. He is absolutely right to continue to sue the estate until they are forced to correct Kyle’s statements and apoligize, which is what Ventura asked for in the first place. The money was not Ventura’s goal.

                  1. tried to pay him off. In other words, settle. Because no one has ever done that in the history of lawsuits. I’ll admit to having little sympathy for Ventura because of his own dickishness but making someone an offer is an admission of something, no? Ventura’s reputation has challenges that go beyond Chris Kyle.

                    1. If an offer of settlement is the same as an admission, then why wouldn’t they just apologize and move on? Because it isn’t the same. Kyle tried to maintain his many lies, and Ventura was forced to seek justice. This isn’t even controversial, everyone now admits that Kyle was full of shit a good percent of the time. Suing Kyle’s estate (worth millions) isn’t the same as suing some poor widow.

              3. So should no one ever sue anybody since family members will lose value from the estate?

                I think when you file a lawsuit as a vendetta for a public slight when you’re already a slimy piece of shit, the death of your adversary could reasonably be considered a settlement of the issue, and continuing to pursue the matter against his state is pretty petty. This is the modern day equivalent of pistol dueling over an honour feud, and Ventura pursuing it to the bitter end is the modern equivalent of forcing his opponent’s second to step in and take a bullet in his absence.

                1. PM

                  This wasn’t a case of being seated at the kiddie table or some smack of, “You would have never made today’s SEAL team.”

                  He accused Ventura of saying SEALs deserved to die and then lied about having punched him out over it. Then made a lot of money when people learned “scruffy face” was Ventura.

                  Ventura maintains a relationship with service folks, gets some business becauae of it, and gets some business due to the tough guy image. He had a obligation to sue and not settle.

                  If you don’t like Ventura, that’s fine but Kyle lied to profit and the lies had the strong potential to cause significant harm to Ventura’s private and public life.

                  1. Yes, but really, “plastic baby” was such an awesome burn all by itself

                    1. Gilmore

                      Not against Kyle but against the movie and the war machine worshipping in this country.

                      The Ventura incident just shows what a piece of shit Kyle was. Brian Williams to the third power.

                    2. You show how you are the bigger and better person through your childish mocking of movie props. The “War Machine” doesn’t stand a chance.

                    3. TV shows use real babies. This was a major motion picture. The fact that the producers chose to use a clearly fake baby tells me they were targeting a non-discerning audience.

                      The war machine rolls on because the federal reserve prints more notes and six figure income families like mine get screwed on taxes to pay for shit to which we are diametrically opposed. And because our government sucks and folks are still willing to sign up.

                    4. “The fact that the producers chose to use a clearly fake baby tells me they were targeting a non-discerning audience.”

                      OMG you’re doubling down?? The “plastic baby” is more than just a juvenile gripe…. its also a symbolic key confirming your assumed moral-and-intellectual superiority? *who’d have guessed that!*

                      This movie is like a retard-bug-zapper. They can’t resist the glow.

                    5. This movie is like a retard-bug-zapper beacon. They can’t resist the glow.
                      FTFY

                  2. Ventura maintains a relationship with service folks, gets some business becauae of it, and gets some business due to the tough guy image. He had a obligation to sue and not settle.

                    Not being his manager, I don’t have any idea what his business rolodex looks like. But I think I can say confidently than anybody still doing business with Ventura in 2012 couldn’t possibly have cared about that story. “Hey, I’ve been transacting business with a former flamboyant WWF wrestler and 9/11 truther whose career high point was playing second fiddle to Arnold Schwarzenegger in an alien movie, but THIS — now I have to rethink everything!” Come on. This had jack shit to do with Ventura’s business reputation, it was a dick measuring contest.

                    If you don’t like Ventura, that’s fine but Kyle lied to profit and the lies had the strong potential to cause significant harm to Ventura’s private and public life.

                    Considering Ventura has spent the last decade making a career out of falsely smearing both public figures and private individuals as murderers and liars (pick up a copy of his latest book “They Killed Our President”, a handy guide to the people ostensibly responsible for murdering John F Kennedy and then covering it up), my heart bleeds for him. It must be horrible to see unkind, demonstrably false things printed about yourself by an egomaniac with a big mouth.

                    1. Thankfully for Ventura you were not the judge.

                      He was a governor once as well as a UDT member.

                      And it had everything to do with Jesse Ventura the “business/product.” Feel fortunate that nobody has ever libeled you in a way that damaged your ability to earn money.

                    2. Thankfully for Ventura you were not the judge.

                      He was a governor once as well as a UDT member.

                      And it had everything to do with Jesse Ventura the “business/product.” Feel fortunate that nobody has ever libeled you in a way that damaged your ability to earn money.

                    3. He was a governor once as well as a UDT member.

                      Lol. So Ventura’s public service vindicates his career filled with selling lies and deceit? But you experienced schadenfreude at Kyle’s big mouth being exposed as a critical flaw? I guess everybody needs a hero. Even the Nazis had them, after all.

                      Feel fortunate that nobody has ever libeled you in a way that damaged your ability to earn money.

                      I do. Ventura should as well. And he should feel even more fortunate that he managed to squeeze a couple million extra bucks and another 15 minutes in the lime light out of a lawsuit that, when published in book form, may well take the title “Tu Quoque: The Jesse Ventura Story”.

                    4. You seemed to want to list his professional achievements. You made two glaring omissons.

                      I enjoy it when lying pieces of shit like Chris Kyle that profit from said lies while simultaneously damaging another get called out on it and there is a correction. It seems many including some on here hero worship Kyle. In spite of all his bullshit. As you said, Nazis had their heros too.

                      Again, a court ruled differently than your opinion regarding whether Ventura was libeled by Kyle (and the publisher). Feel free to start a blog that includes “what really went down.”. Regardless of whether any of your opinion about Ventura’s current activities are true, the issue was whether Kyle lied about what happened. And he did.

                      If Ventura truely is lying about others then they should take the same approach he did with the liar Kyle.

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  2. Adam Lanza grumble grumble

    1. Different writer.

      1. Some topic, same mag.

        1. That doesn’t make any sense.

      2. Adam Lanza is always relevant to the topic at hand
        /Sheldon Richman

    1. You suck.

        1. Pics?

        2. Speaking of sucking, I might go see the Thunderbirds this afternoon.

    2. Is it even good for anything?

    3. People who fight in a bullshit war and then bitch about the government suck.

      1. This is a very accurate and flawless statement. Thank you for sharing it.

        1. Go on…

          1. Pics?

        2. I’d say Baathists were better than their liberators. No?

          1. Lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol…

          2. Coming from someone who has excused a couple hundred million murders based on his political ideology, your opinion on the relative morality of any two given things is worth pretty much less than larvae on a steaming pile of shit.

      2. So, if at 19 I decide to do what I perceive at that embryonic stage to be patriotic, I must forever relinquish my government-griping rights? That makes sense. I would have thought that maybe the whole war experience might be very enlightening for some people and give them much more insight why government sucks.

        1. If you’re old enough to enlist and willfully ignorant of what being in the military truly means (terrorizing foreign nations that pose no threat, blindly obeying the will of corrupt politicians and pissing on the Constitution, etc), then you’re probably too stupid to learn.

      3. So, if at 19 I decide to do what I perceive at that embryonic stage to be patriotic, I must forever relinquish my government-griping rights? That makes sense. I would have thought that maybe the whole war experience might be very enlightening for some people and give them much more insight why government sucks.

        1. To answer your question, no. What amazed me was the coworker of mine, career Navy, who was all for the Iraq war, then several years into it, said we shouldn’t have gone over there. How can someone be so flippantly “pro war” and then change his mind? The 19 year olds I almost see as victims. They should have an adult around to talk them out of it when they’re considering joining the military to go on the other side of the planet in order to “protect our freedom.”

        2. You may not be aware that soldiers who criticize the Commander In Chief often pay a heavy price:
          http://www.govloop.com/forums/topic/c…..ure-fired/

          It’s also true, that our soldiers overwhelmingly contributed more campaign cash to Ron Paul (more than all other candidates combined in the 2012 primaries) thus indicating they preferred his foreign policy. So you’re right, the “war experience might be [actually is] very enlightening” for many of the soldiers.

          1. You gotta wonder about people who donate to the guy who considers what they do devoid of any virtue and thinks they have it coming if they get killed by a nutjob.

      4. But it is through our experiences that we learn, and change.

        MacArthur said, “The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

        Most have no idea what he meant by “the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

        Surviving it. Because he lives with it forever, and that changes a man.

        So no. I disagree with you American. It’s not always that simple.

        1. “MacArthur said, “The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.””

          Did he say anything about officers?

          1. Did he say anything about 9/11 being an inside job?

              1. Jessie Ventura.

          2. Oh, you’re one of *those* . . .

    4. Life’s a bitch.
      War is hell….
      and combat’s a motherfucker.

  3. In a bar one night, talking to the woman who will soon become his wife, he tells her, “I’d lay down my life for my country. It’s the greatest country on earth.”

    This is, unfortunately, the sentiment to which people will refer when labeling a movie “pro-war.” Suggesting that the US has redeeming characteristics or is perhaps unique in a world filled with paternalistic liberal democracies and autocratic theocracies is tantamount (to the leftist mentality) to denying that the US has any flaws at all. Suggesting that the country is worth dying for is worse, because soldiers are naive ingenuous exploited by the military-industrial complex to enrich GOP donors. Worst of all is the notion that the country might be worth killing for, because soldiers are genocidal murderers gunning down innocents in their homelands. Any war movie that doesn’t make its anti-war bonafides as obvious as a tractor-trailer barreling through the narrative might as well be the spiritual successor to Red Dawn.

    1. Now I am in the mood for some fresh deer blood.

      1. I’m hungry too.

    2. Exactly – a soldier’s willingness to fight for his country need not mean he’s blind to his country’s flaws.

      “True patriot love” (as the Canucks put it) is like any other kind of love – the lover is the last one to pretend that the beloved is perfect.

      1. I mean, he may say it in public, because he’s the only one who gets to discuss any flaws.

      2. A self-declared Socialist declared above that if you serve the State you are thereby bound to never ever criticize the state.

        *which i guess makes sense from the POV of someone who ultimately wants everyone to ‘serve the state’.

        1. Well, socialists can [name of activity deleted].

          This goes beyond socialism.

          And yes, patriots are often obliged, by their very patriotism, to criticize their country.

        2. A self-declared Socialist declared above that if you serve the State you are thereby bound to never ever criticize the state.

          The point he’s trying to make, is that because he feels the war was illegal, that I was obligated to ruin my life in protest rather than fulfill my obligations.

          Of course, he could have ruined his life in protest as well, but I don’t see him writing ant-war screeds from prison either.

            1. I liked ant

              1. Give ant-peace a chance! Can’t red ants and black ants just get along?

        3. It’s not what I meant. I’d like libertarians to actually oppose the state. On this website there’s a fixation– among other things– on the rooting for the decline of states who actually still have a safety net and people joining unions. Those last two things really aren’t concerns of libertarians that I care about, but fighting a decade long war against people who never attacked us. Yeah, kind of.

          I really don’t get this hostility that I get for criticizing people who go to fight a war that was clearly illegitimate. I oppose half-trillion dollar defense budgets and think there hasn’t been a war worth fighting since 1945. You?

          1. Yeah, of course, nobody opposed the Iraq war on this board except for the two sanctified, purified true libertarians Botard the Hotard and Shriek… :rolleyes:

          2. You can’t even construct a proper strawman. It’s fucking sad. And, of course, it wouldn’t validate your point anyway.

            1. “You can’t even construct a proper strawman.”

              KULAKS AND WRECKERS SABOTAGED THE STRAW

              1. Lol

          3. “It’s not what I meant. I’d like libertarians to actually oppose the state.”

            A socialist shows his ignorance. Apparently socialists don’t think libertarians would actually like to shrink the state to the smallest size possible and still accomplish it’s goals of protecting our lives, our property, our liberty and our pursuit of happiness, rather than getting in our way. Heck, some libertarians would like to eliminate the state entirely (libertarian anarchists) and replace it with voluntary and private institutions.

            And any self described socialist who wants people to “oppose the state” obviously doesn’t know what socialism is, because socialism is big government. Perhaps you should educate yourself about what socialism is. Reminds me of patriotic kids who go to war, before they learn they will be used for the benefit of politicians and those invested in the military industrial complex.

    3. “Any war movie that doesn’t make its anti-war bonafides as obvious as a tractor-trailer barreling through the narrative might as well be the spiritual successor to Red Dawn.”

      Pretty much.

      The great sin of “American Sniper” was failing to adhere to the well-established “Green Zone“-canned-narrative, where the only point of the movie is to reinforce the one-dimensional POV that “BUSH LIED”, and therefore there is nothing else at all worth talking about even though we fought a decade long war in Iraq.

      i.e., “if you’re not telling a story that centers entirely on the Political aspect, then it is unacceptable”

      Talking about ‘real soldiers’ as though they were ‘real people’, and that – maybe, *just maybe – they WERENT all that concerned about whether or not Saddam had WMD’s or not? That, in fact, most really didn’t give a shit, and were not tearing their hair out like Matt Damon over the finer-details of the Casus Belli?

      Blasphemy.

      The ‘big picture’ aside; there’s also the ‘problem’ that Kyle – a person that most people in the media insist is the poster-boy of Redneck, Right Wing America – is actually treated like a thinking, feeling human being. The fact that the film humanizes a person who ‘bragged about shooting lots of ragheads’ is unforgivable. No matter how good it was as a *film*, it fails as political history, and it insults progressives by rejecting their small-minded stereotypes.

      1. Kyle – a person that most people in the media insist is the poster-boy of Redneck, Right Wing America

        and for argument’s sake, let’s say he is. How is that worse than some beta male incessantly glued to his iPhones while stroking a beard while waiting for the barrista at Stabucks to provide the day’s message on race?

        It’s a shock to many that soldiers are actual people, most motivated to joint for good reason and few who are practically sociopaths, not unlike much of the rest of society. Progressives get insulted every time someone refuses to play their game of moral equivalency.

        1. Because to the progs anybody who displays true masculinity or fails to adequately genuflect at the altar of multiculturalism may as well be a sociopath.

        2. Oh, and I’m just waiting for the day when some punk blond headed hipster barista who has never ventured beyond the safety of his parents neighborhood on Frolicking Lamb Lane to lecture me about race. Something something something about Shuvs and Zuuls deep inside of a Slor…

        3. Generation Kill does a pretty good job showing American soldiers are people rather than just pro- or anti-war stick figures. As the author liked to point out, a lot of Americans have this kind of noble image of the soldier as a warrior poet based on World War Two media, when in reality a lot of troops are between the ages of seventeen and thirty and act like it.

      2. Hey look, everyone, Gilmore thinks anti war movies are claptrap.

        People that don’t think about the consequences of their actions and murder Iraqi kids are the real heroes.

        Why, oh why, do poor people in the ME keep joining ISIS? Probably because they’re jealous of our freedoms.

        1. Oh look everybody, american shithead proves yet again that he has no reading comprehension skills whatsoever.

        2. People that don’t think about the consequences of their actions and murder Iraqi kids are the real heroes

          Don’t talk shit about our president!

        3. Oh look, the man who gives zero shits about the murderous tyrants of his favourite authoritarian regime is trying to lecture us on dead kids. It’s almost like your moral outrage is arbitrary rather than consistent and you’re completely full of shit.

        4. But please, continue to throw a temper tantrum unrelated to Gilmore’s actual point. Then right after that you can offer up excuses for Beria’s murdered rape victims.

        5. Disavow a political ideology that’s predicated on theft and murder, then feel free to have a discussion about morality. Until then, fuck off.

    4. Suggesting that the US has redeeming characteristics or is perhaps unique in a world filled with paternalistic liberal democracies and autocratic theocracies is tantamount (to the leftist mentality) to denying that the US has any flaws at all.

      In the context of a biopic, that shouldn’t even be a consideration anyway. The filmmaker isn’t necessarily endorsing the subject’s viewpoint. He’s telling the subject’s story.

  4. Let’s go, guys. Steppin out to watch a movie – when I come back I wanna see this thread at 700+!

    1. Nah–ENB’s working on a post comparing the merits of aborting fetuses to save them from circumcision AKA genital mutilation.

      1. Legalized circumcision is the single worst aspect about this country! It is a disgrace!

    2. I hope that before he dies Eastwood makes a movie about legalized abortion, the worst thing about this country, ever. EVER! It is a disgrace!

      1. NO. The worst thing about this country is circumcising aborted fetuses.

        1. How else will pediatricians practice?

          1. Mohels will practice on the aborted fetuses of goyim…

        2. I thought the worst thing about this country was Nicole?

      2. Deep dish will be sold at the concession stand during the screening.

    3. Did someone say Abraham Lincoln?

      http://www.slate.com/blogs/the…..mmers.html

  5. “He appears to have no interest in the political forces in which he’s caught up, ”

    Maybe that’s why he is a fool. That’s how I took it.

    Do you think Hollywood will ever make a film about this guy… http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ehren_Watada

    It would take significantly more guts than what Eastwood did.

    Eastwood, to me, is my vote for most significantly overrated director, but I’ll say– to my relief– that his movie is intelligent. The last time I saw him on tv he was losing an argument to an empty chair so I thought he might be going the way of the Heston.

    1. So you’re saying an empty chair is more eloquent and successful than Obama?

    2. Hey Amsoc
      Your pal Obama really went after Chelsea Manning for expoaing the wrongdoings and the military. You think Hollywood will make an honest film about that?

      1. He is a guy I voted for– not my boyfriend. Was there a viable alternative out there on this issue?

        1. Not voting at all is always the viable alternative.

          1. “Not voting at all is always the viable alternative.”

            Ive been abstaining for over a decade and Ive yet to be disappointed

            1. I’ve said for years, we need to get “none of the above” on all ballots. And, if it “wins” the position is eliminated.

              This might be the true will of the people. We might even like it.

        2. Not voting for one. Of course, the blood of all the people he’s killed his on your hands for supporting him, but I doubt you’d hold yourself to an actual moral standard while lecturing everyone else.

        3. Amsoc

          While not taking a Daniel Ellsburg position on it, Gary Johnson was more open to treating Manning as a whistleblower than President Obama.

          The Freedom Socialiat Party took the dtamce that Manning is a whostleblower (in part perhaps due to his position as LGBT). They ran a candidate in the 2012 presidential election. They had a pro Manning rally in San Fran (and other cities).

        4. Sweet. So, Amsoc, can we interpret that statement as one of regret for voting for a corrupt, cynical career politician who has no problem imprisoning whistle-blowers? Maybe you’re coming around!

        5. You could have voted for, Gary Johnson (former Governer of NM) the Libertarian. He wanted to bring our soldiers back home and leave the Middle East to it’s warring factions.

          People there will never be free, until they learn they’ll never have freedom until they are first willing to give it to others. And Muslims don’t want others to be free, since their (most of them) religious beliefs are such that they want to tax/punish others who aren’t of their religion.

    3. american socialist|3.21.15 @ 12:43PM|#
      …”Eastwood, to me, is my vote for most significantly overrated director,”…

      Keep in mind, the cretin posting this supports mass murderers.

    4. I love Eastwood’s films, especially “Absolute Power” and “Pale Rider”. But it’s not just “guts” that one needs to make a file about Watada, or say Matthew Hoh. It’s a lot of money, and who’s going to spend their money on a film that isn’t likely to get much of an audience and pay back those financing it? Not only that, the producer will become the enemy of a bunch of powerful people, and likely pay a big price when they sic the government on him. I agree with you, Kyle was a bit of a fool.

      Perhaps it’ll happen when all the warmongers are discredited and out of power.

  6. because Kyle was not a modern version of the guy in Born on the 4th of July, ergo, pro-war film. Because binary is the only way of thinking for too many people. And because politicizing everything has become the national sport. Sometimes, a movie is just a movie.

    1. I agree with Loder, Eastwood was disgusted with the war. Kyle said that the war “isn’t what I expected.” Movies do make moral/political points. What do you think the point of “Absolute Power” was? One of my favorite Eastwood movies (star and director).

    2. yes ++++++

      My generation was awful about reading something into everything.

      This is part of the reason my spouse and I enjoy old movies (made before we were born) as campy as they may be. And comedies. It’s entertainment. Let’s leave it that way.

      If I want moralizing, I can read Plato or War and Peace, etc.

      I’ve been hoping the next generation would do better than we did about seeing “something” in everything.

  7. Favorite war movies? The Dirty Dozen is probably at the top of my list. Then Kelly’s Heros. I would call Tropic Thunder a war movie because it lampooned war movies and it was hilarious.

    1. I didn’t like the Dirty Dozen – I prefer that my WWII movies have American soldiers you can actually cheer for, rather than watching them stab innocent women to death.

    2. Just because a movie is set in ‘war’ doesn’t necessarily make it a ‘war film’.

      I’d argue that both Kelly’s and Dirty Dozen are basically ‘Ensemble/Heist’ films

      Kelly’s Heroes being 100% a ‘heist film’, and that Dirty Dozen is 70% heist-film, and 30% “Seven Samurai”-ensemble-suicide type thing. “Either face a death sentence, or work together in one redeeming act”

      Neither are really ‘war movies’ in the “Longest Day”/All Quiet on the Western Front/Platoon-sense, where the conflict of the “war itself” is the core of the film. The fact that they shoot lots of Nazis is ultimately incidental. FUN! but not necessary to the story.

      Speaking of which…. my personal favorite along those lines….

      1. I dismiss everything you wrote and I am adding Red October and Under Seige to my list.

        1. Under Siege

          Every war movie needs terrorists posing as a rock band. And Gary Motherfucking Busey

          1. Has Busey ever been in a vampire movie? Or maybe….a horse vampire movie?

              1. Wow… well if I ever really, realllly need to waste some time and brain cells….

          2. Also, a great many cast members of Blood In, Blood Out appear in Under Siege for some reason.

        2. And Super Troopers.

          1. Super Troopers is awesome.

      2. This seems like a syntactic/ semantic debate: http://www.whatisgreatcinema.c…..ality.html

        1. Dont try to fancy this shit up with junior-college vocabulary. Movie plots follow fairly few formula templates. Kelly’s Heroes is a “Bank Job”, heist-movie. End of story. The fact that the guards are Nazis and the Bank Robbers have tanks is all so much ‘set dressing’.

          Three Kings, FWIW is also a pretty good Heist/War movie mash up.

      3. Gilmore, you are the awesomest. I love Where Eagles Dare. In the not quite war movies, I’d add Buffalo Soldiers, The Delta Force, American Ninja, The Hill, and Paths of Glory.

      4. While technically a detective movie set during the Russo-Turkish War, Turkish Gambit is a personal favorite. The begining in the sunflowers and the storm of Pleven scenes are amazing. Both Kubrick offerings are top shelf.

        The deer hunting scene in Deer Hunter was of a red stag and not a whitetail as would have been appropriate for Pennsylvania (plastic baby moment). That and the patronizing acting by Streep knocked it down a few levels for me.

    3. Band of Brothers (but that’s cheating, I know.) As for regular feature, I love The Great Escape. Maybe not the realist of war movies, but man, so many great characters and actors.

    4. The Deer Hunter and Rolling Thunder.

    5. Patton, Guns of Navarone, Galipoli, Das Boot, Starship Troopers, Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Strangelove, Paths of Glory.

      In no particular order.

      1. I second this list

  8. For fuck’s sake, why in hell are people still talking about this shit? Really? It’s a fucking movie! And not a Star Trek one (even numbered only)!

    1. Into Darkness is evenly numbered.

      1. And it was AWESOME!

      2. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

        You don’t understand. The Abrams takeover is like it being the mirror universe (and let’s not forget that in the first Abrams one, they disclose that they are, in fact, in a parallel timeline), so therefore, everything is opposite. Meaning it’ll be the odds that are good with Abrams.

        It’s all so clear now!

        1. So, what you’re sayin is…you liked the first Abrams film.

          1. I actually enjoyed it, as basically a fun popcorn movie. It was totally watchable. Into Darkness was…horrifically bad.

            1. I’ll defend until my dying breath Into Darkness as an enjoyably dumb popcorn flick. I’m not sure whether that’s a bigger slight on Abrams or summer blockbusters.

              1. Also, Skyfall was the best Bond flick since Casino Royale.

                1. So basically you don’t like Quantum of Solace. I understand that.

        2. Into Darkness left out the boring parts of Star Trek and added explosions and hand-to-hand combat. What’s not to love?

        3. Can we get a whole Star Trek series that takes place in the mirror universe? I’d watch that shit, but I think Roddenberry’s grave could probably power a whole city if that happened.

    2. Probably controversial.. My favourite Star Trek movie is Undiscovered Country.

      You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon.

      1. It’s a totally watchable film, I don’t have any problem with it. I actually like the fifth one, which people stupidly automatically react to with “Shatner directed it, ha ha, it must be terrible”, when in fact it’s actually not bad at all. But then again I like the first one too. I saw it in the theater as a very young kid and the quiet eerie isolated space stuff was totally awesome to me.

        1. I don’t actually dislike any of the Star Trek films. They are all good entertainment, unlike the new Star Wars movies.

          But I have never been a huge fan of the motion picture, some of it is just too slow and drawn out that I tend to lose interest.

        2. All of the original series movies are watchable. The Motion Picture is WAAAY better than most people remember it.

          The Final Frontier has a good story, but the plotting is very sloppy. Plus, ILM had committed to other movies for that year, so the Trek series had to use a second-rate effects shop.

          Also, The Final Frontier was in production when there were a lot strikes in Hollywood. It has been rumored that the Teamsters union torched a number of trailers during the production of The Final Frontier because they were using non-union labor.

      2. Probably controversial…
        All of Star Trek SUCKS

        All of Sci Fi SUCKS.

        *drops mic into pitcher of beer*

        1. All of Star Trek SUCKS

          Understandable.

          All of Sci Fi SUCKS.

          GTFO

        2. He’s a frat boy.

          Sorority girls don’t play D&D. 😉

          1. umm…pics?

            1. Good luck getting pics from that one

          2. Double Ds?

    3. How I rank the Star Trek movies:

      1. The Genesis Trilogy (I consider II, III, and IV to be one movie)
      2. The Undiscovered Country
      3. First Contact
      4. The Motion Picture
      5. Insurrection
      6. The Final Frontier
      7. Generations
      8. Nemesis

      and I don’t consider the Abrams movies to be canon.

      1. I like the one with the Ewoks. Beam me up, Skippy. (Sarc trolling)

      2. I would put First Contact above Undiscovered Country and Insurrection above The Motion Picture, but otherwise I agree. Regarding Final Frontier… it doesn’t suck because Shatner directed it – it sucks because the story is complete shit. That said, it does have some nice moments and I have no problem watching it when it’s on. Which cannot be said for Generations or Nemesis.

  9. The only Eastwood movie I refuse to re-watch is Million Dollar Baby. Give me Space Cowboys over Million Dollar Baby any day of the week.

    1. seconded.

    2. Because bad or because rough? I never caught it.

      1. half of it is very good, half of it is not very good. and Hillary Swank is less pretty than usual. Very less pretty. Much less pretty.

        1. Think she may have had the “behind the back” nickname Hillary Skank in high school ?

  10. So as many of you know, starting on June 1 I’m going to eat for less than $5.00 a day as a social experiment to prove that anyone who thinks you can’t eat for the amount of money you get on food stamps is an idiot.

    Well, I’ve been researching the topic and found this blog where someone ate on one dollar a day for a month and then claimed that the fact that they were hungry proves how hard it is to be poor.

    Problem: If you’re on food stamps, you get 5 times as much money as this guy was spending. So the fact that he managed to eat on only one dollar a day and did so successfully (even if he was hungry over the course of that month) pretty much proves how easy it should be to get by using nothing but food stamps, right? I mean, if someone can survive on a dollar a day, then surely $5 a day should be relatively easy, provided you’re not a total dipshit who blows money on soda and candy.

    1. You can save money by capturing and cooking stray dogs.

      1. Well, I do that already, so it shouldn’t be an issue.

        Incidentally, the guy who wrote the ‘dollar a day’ blog did the shittiest job of planning that I’ve ever seen.

        Look at his shopping list.

        It’s all Ramen noodles, pizza, and hot dogs. I’m surprised the guy was even able to make it through a month eating like that without serious health consequences.

        Also, the comments are functionally retarded.

        Unfortunately it resonates with me. I remember living for months on bread and butter.

        I remember passing by restaurants, in the summer. People were eating outside, and I was staring at their plates. Those juicy steaks…

        At the time I considered grabbing a piece of meat with my hand and just running away with it.

        I’m doing a lot better now. But still, capitalism, gotta love it.

        Quite so. Clearly no one ever goes hungry in anti-Capitalist nations, like Cuba or Venezuela.

        Also, he’s full of shit regarding bread and butter. Where was he living, Soviet Russia? If you’re anywhere near restaurants, there will be food pantries you can take advantage of, as well as churches that provide free meals periodically.

        1. I’m doing a lot better now. But still, capitalism, gotta love it.

          There seems to be a pretty consequential contradiction within these two statements.

          1. I noticed that too. Capitalism sucks so bad that even though I had a period where I wasn’t wealthy, I am now wealthy. Fucking capitalism.

        2. I love it when people try to lie about being poor. It makes it clear that they don’t know anything about poverty.

          Bread and Butter? HAHAHAHAHAHA

          Butter? Extremely expensive
          Bread? Spoils very quickly.

          THAT’S NOT WHAT POOR PEOPLE EAT IN THIS COUNTRY

          1. The problem with poverty in this country really stems from an inability among the poor to budget. They aren’t taught to budget by their parents and the schools don’t teach them.

            I personally think that every low-income school in this country should be teaching the kids basic life skills like budgeting and balancing a checkbook because they don’t learn that at home and that’s one of the major factors involved in inter-generational poverty.

            1. I think it’s a problem of both knowledge and habit/discipline. Some people know that they should budget, but just don’t.

              My mom, for example, grew up in a household where money was very tight. She is still very against eating out, and when she cooks at home, vegetables that don’t come out of a can are “decadent”.

              1. The Realtor ads conflating home-ownership with a variety of positive benefits involving everything from kids’ grades to healthiness makes a similar mistake by comparing populations predisposed to discipline and saving with the population in general.

                Self-discipline and long time horizons precede wealth accumulation. Saving for the down-payment is indicative of the sort of person a homeowner is. Pretending we can plonk people with a propensity toward self-gratification into houses and wring social benefits from them is absurd. The same goes for raising minimum wages out of proportion to the skillset a worker offers (let alone the negative effects that has on employment).

            2. the working poor have a clear idea on budgeting and making economical meals. The grifter poor, not so much. People being poor is not new; people being poor and demanding that someone else subsidize is, at least in historical terms. Anyone whose parents grew up in the shadow of the Great Depression understands what making do is like. Dipshits like the hungry blog guy have no clue.

              1. Grifting poor. I’m going to borrow that.

                And you’re exactly right. My mom grew up in the shadow of the great depression.

              2. the working poor have a clear idea on budgeting and making economical meals.

                This is why the working poor have an odd tendency to eventually stop being poor.

          2. Being “poor” is more a state of mind than a fiscal reality in the U.S.

            I deal with self described “poor people” every day as part of my work. It’s just a self fulfilling prophecy for most of them and provides them an excuse not to change (as many have pointed out here) the things that keep them there while demanding that we provide them with everything they want for “free”. After all, they’re poor you know.

            Oh, did I mention I’m a guberment worker? ;-(

        3. “Incidentally, the guy who wrote the ‘dollar a day’ blog did the shittiest job of planning that I’ve ever seen.”

          Doesn’t that make it pretty realistic though? There’s this phenomenon called decision fatigue and it affects anyone who has to make a lot of decisions in a day. For example, it’s why you always want to schedule your court appearance or job interview in the morning. It’s also theorized why very poor people are worse at long term planning, because they have to make a lot of smaller decisions (do I want to buy a sandwich or laundry detergent) which leaves less mental energy for more important decisions. For the record, I agree with the point you’re trying to make and don’t really think any welfare should exist, much less be increased. I’m just saying that it isn’t a realistic simulation to plan your meals on a tiny budget when you’re not feeling the effects of it yet.

      2. Notorious G.K.C.|3.21.15 @ 1:21PM|#

        You can save money by capturing and cooking stray dogs.

        The problem with stray dogs is that they are usually too skinny and the meat is tough.

        A well fed Cocker Spaniel is hard to beat spit roasted on an open fire served with a side of garlic olive oil rosemary roasted red potatos and both are easy on the budget.

        1. I was able to augment my protein sources by contracting with an abortion clinic. Inexpensive disposal of the fetuses for them, yummy dinners for me at close to zero cost.

          Win-win.

        2. What kind of monsters are you?

          You can save money by capturing and cooking stray dogs cats

          FTFY.

    2. More beer for me

    3. “Supersize Irish”

      1. “Supersize Irish” is the title of Ted Kennedy’s head’s memoir.

    4. There’s going to be some Reason activity in your neck of the woods soon. Maybe somebody will buy you a steak before your experiment. One last hurrah.

      1. Or else prepare yourself for ridicule.

    5. You should see if you can get a Reason writer to do a thingy on you.

      1. I’m going to write it up myself. The plan is to take pictures of everything I buy and the receipts from the store and then explain how I’m eating.

    6. Dammit, I can’t find it online, but in one of W.F. Buckley’s anthologies that I read many years ago, he quoted an economist (I think, perhaps it was a nutritionist) and said that the country could position three ingredients (rice, beans, lard? — hell, I can’t remember!) at all the grocery stores FOR FREE. This would guarantee that no one in ‘merica would starve. And the cost to the gov’t would be miniscule compared to food stamps.

      If anyone can verify (or disprove) my memory, I will be eternally grateful.

      1. Lard is delicious.

        1. Ever been porked?

    7. Just channel your ancestors and eat lots and lots of potatoes and cabbage.

      1. Shredded and vinegar some cabbage for breakfast tacos this morning. Delish.

        1. Nice. I fried my St. Paddy’s Day cabbage in rendered pork fat with some cut up leftover pork belly. It was delish.

    8. The amount of food stamps one gets is highly dependent on income and the number of children they have. I’m well acquainted (family, close friends) with people who actually have spent fairly long stretches on ~$3 a day in food stamps. It’s definitely not as pleasant or as easy as you seem to think. Have fun, but also bear in mind that spending a few weeks living below your means with the security that your situation is temporary and self-imposed is not exactly the same thing as actually being poor.

      (SLD: I’m against welfare of all kinds, including food stamps)

      1. The amount of food stamps one gets is highly dependent on income and the number of children they have. I’m well acquainted (family, close friends) with people who actually have spent fairly long stretches on ~$3 a day in food stamps.

        I’m well aware of that. The average, however, is $133 dollars according to the USDA.

        Furthermore, I seriously doubt the people you know who were on $3 a day in foodstamps were only buying food via foodstamps. Like you say, it’s predominantly related to income, so if someone has a higher income (but is still within the bounds of food stamp income levels) they won’t get as much money. However, that person would have more money through their personal income to spend on food.

        You can correct me if I’m wrong, but I seriously doubt the only money the people you know spent on food were via the food stamp program, given that, as you say, it varies by income.

        1. Well, I guess for the benefit of context, we’re talking about a couple of disabled people on SSI (supplemental security income, not SSDI – social security disability insurance, which is significantly more generous). Combined annual income around $13.5k. They actually did stay pretty consistently within the food stamp allotment, by necessity. I’d say an overage of 10-15% every other month, give or take. Those were the ones who had it pretty tough. Not missing meals, but definitely not eating the same quality of nutrition as before they were on government assistance. Breaks my heart. If I had the means, their situation would change immediately.

          The other cases, less sympathetic. Single parents of multiple kids. In those cases, food stamps did indeed represent a much smaller portion of their monthly food budget. Probably a third or less, I’d guess.

          1. I have seen several young women on WIC.

            Everyone of them was trying to give away or sell food.

            There was no way a mom and one or three kids could eat all the milk, eggs, and cheese they got.

        2. I seriously doubt the only money the people you know spent on food were via the food stamp program

          This is kind of why I think your $5 a day idea is unrealistic: when I mentioned I was on food stamps for about a month and I got way more than $5 a day, I had zero income or savings. I can’t recall exactly what I got but I think as a start you should up your daily limit to $10 and that would probably reflect reality more closely.

          Just my 2 cents…

      2. If you’re anywhere near restaurants, there will be food pantries you can take advantage of, as well as churches that provide free meals periodically.

        Also, please don’t take advantage of those programs while you’re conducting your lifestyle experiment. Or at least make an equal dollar donation after your month is up. Unlike the government, those private charities really are resource-constrained and there are people who legitimately need that help.

        1. ^ You seem to think I’m some sort of monster.

          The first day I mentioned this I explicitly said I would not get any help outside of my allotted $5 a day because I’m not going to take scarce resources from people who actually need them.

          1. Jesus. I would have thought that would go without saying.

            1. This also isn’t a ‘lifestyle’ experiment, it’s a political experiment. The only reason I am doing this is because I got in an argument with someone who assured me that people in America are suffering because our evil capitalist society doesn’t give enough money in food stamps. So I looked up the average food stamp money per person, and decided to prove that, based on that average, you can eat well using only the allotted food stamp money and with no outside assistance.

              So this isn’t me doing this for ‘fun’ it’s me doing this specifically to prove a political point regarding the United States Federal budget.

              1. Suffering is a weasel word.

                I really, really like food. Cooking is my creative outlet. So, for me, $5 a day won’t cut it. I could even argue that I’m “suffering” on that budget.

                My concern is if people in this country are starving and malnourished.

                And they aren’t, except in very care cases that have zero public policy implications.

              2. Heh, maybe the ‘Slayer of Huns’ thing confused him. Sounds like a Red Army affectation, and we all know what swell guys they were.

            2. Okay dude, ffs, I didn’t see your original post on the subject. I wasn’t trying to imply anything. I know not everybody necessarily has a lot of experience with that kind of thing and might not realize how limited those kind of resources are. One of the… I guess you could call it “benefits”, of perspective coming from long lines of stupid, poor white trash and spending one’s entire childhood in the guilt machine of the Christian church.

              1. Okay dude, ffs

                Sorry, I didn’t mean to snap at you. I just decided to do this entirely because someone called me ‘cruel’ for arguing that you can easily live on food stamps, so I guess I’m overly sensitive to the claim that I’m being ‘insensitive’ when really I’m just trying to prove a point that seems to me relatively self-evident.

                1. Sorry, I didn’t mean to snap at you.

                  Here, man. Have a Snickers.

                2. It’s all good, I understand. Like I said too, SLD, I agree with you, and oppose welfare of any variety. Not trying to play Mr. SJW, defender of the welfare state. Just saying, it’s not necessarily as easy as a lot of people think to legitimately live within those kinds of means on a long term basis. There’s no getting around it, poverty sucks.

                  1. I don’t think it’s going to be easy. I think it’s going to be work, but that it’s work that can be done.

                    If it were easy, I’d eat like that all the time since it would save me enormous amounts of money. The fact that I need a reason to try this means I’m aware it’s not easy, merely that it can be done, that doing it requires no supernatural ability, and that it’s wrongheaded to proclaim America is somehow letting the poor starve when they are provided with this much money monthly.

                    1. It’ll be easier than you think (unless the cost of living where you are is much higher than mine). Since I did a similar thing I still eat many of the same meals and have adopted many of the frugal habits I acquired. You’ll be amazed at how cheap, good food can be. Red beans, and rice with sausage, chicken cacciatore , pork marsala all doable on a shoestring budget.

                    2. chicken cacciatore

                      down on Sullivan Street?

                    3. Yup, it’s across from the medical center

                    4. It’ll be easier than you think (unless the cost of living where you are is much higher than mine). Since I did a similar thing I still eat many of the same meals and have adopted many of the frugal habits I acquired. You’ll be amazed at how cheap, good food can be. Red beans, and rice with sausage, chicken cacciatore , pork marsala all doable on a shoestring budget.

                      It’s prolly more a time commitment thing than anything else. Red beans and rice made with dry beans is cheaper and much, much tastier than the kind with canned beans, but it’s more time consuming.

                    5. Unless you are gonna sit there a watch beans soaking and simmering, hands-on time is not that much longer.And you only need to do it once, one batch should make 4-6 servings that are easily reheated and often the leftovers are tastier than the cook day portions.

                    6. the leftovers are tastier than the cook day portions.

                      Very true. In fact, I find this is the case for most of what I make.

                    7. It’s also helpful to remind the “4 TEH CHILDRENZ!!!” crowd that “food stamps” refers only to SNAP benefits. SNAP-WIC (Women, Infants and Children), NSLP (National School Lunch Program), SBP (School Breakfast Program), the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and the Special Milk Program are separate, and you can cross-qualify.

      3. The amount of food stamps one gets is highly dependent on income and the number of children they have.

        something about incentives comes to mind. That and something about problems designed to perpetuate the problem they claim to address.

        1. RAYCISS!1!11

      4. Careful…

        Mademoiselle Rimbaud: He said, “The poor ain’t so bad.”

        King Louis XVI: [shocked] “The poor ain’t so bad?” Huh, you’re lucky he’s still alive!

    9. $5/day should be cake, a few years ago my dad kept going on and on about one of those diet plans on TV that cast $7/day, saying how he should do it just to save money.I told him he could eat for less than that easily, to prove it I started keeping track of my grocery bills and being a little frugal, after 10 weeks I was almost always under $30/week, and I wasn’t eating ramen noodles and tomato soup either, yeah a lot of chicken (buy’em whole.) and rice and noodles, but I was never hungry.

    10. If you’re well-stocked with condiments, ramen makes for a pretty awesome poverty dish. A tablespoon of peanut butter with a few dashes of soy and oyster sauce makes for a decent addition to (drained) noodles. Throw some mushrooms, carrots, or onions in there?fuhgeddaboudit.

      1. Suddenly, all the repressed memories of eating like a poor during an internship in DC are rushing back.

        1. So all the rumors I heard about the glamorous lifestyle of DC interns were just that?

          1. Towards the end, I was boiling old boot leather to throw in my ramen.

            1. But if you are interning for a Congress Critter aren’t you immnue to inider trading laws . I know he/she and paid staff are.

              You could build a million dollar portfollio while eating on $5 a day or less.

    11. Not a bad idea. I’d suggest getting full physicals and bloodwork before and after, too. It would be interesting to see what living on rice and beans with some occasional canned chicken will do to you healthwise.

      1. Make you fucking skinny ripped, obviously.

        1. This. A couple of years ago before I got the job I have now I was barely getting by and not taking food stamps, I was like barely eating anything at all during the week and binging on buffets and Red Robin bottomless fries on payday and when I could donate plasma, and I was walking our biking everywhere. Sucked ass but by the time that was over I was in the best shape of my life.

    12. Hi Irish,

      Quick question: is this the sort of social experiment where right-wingers complain about the moral failings of the poor and then prove their biases? I’d humbly suggest you skip it and have the steak. Would you really learn anything, really?

      1. It’s the sort of experiment left-wingers snub because critiquing welfare is so pass

      2. the “failings” of the poor, at least of the generational variety, have nothing to do with money. Left-wingers choose to ignore those failings because they believe that set of poor is functionally incompetent. But since saying that out loud is bad form, the left pretends that generational poverty is someone else’s fault and more programs are what is needed to fix the problem caused by existing programs, all of which were propagated by the left. So the real question is, why does the left hate the poor?

        1. There’s also the fact, which leftists rarely mention, that according to OECD statistics bottom 10% of Americans are only slightly worse off than the bottom 10% of Swedes and are better off than the bottom 10% of Brits, Germans, Swiss, etc.

          Best stat: According to OECD numbers, the bottom 10% of Americans are overall better off than the TOP 10% of Italians.

          Evil, wicked America with its 1%ers!

          1. In fact, here’s a ridiculous stat that comes from that radically right-wing source, the New York Times:

            Notice how the entire line for the United States resides in the top portion of the graph? That’s because the entire country is relatively rich. In fact, America’s bottom ventile is still richer than most of the world: That is, the typical person in the bottom 5 percent of the American income distribution is still richer than 68 percent of the world’s inhabitants.

            Yeah. Clearly America doesn’t care enough about the poor.

        2. “and more programs are what is needed to fix the problem”

          And, don’t forget, because more programs keep those left-wingers gainfully employed too. Whether government, so called non-profit, or simple volunteer work.

          It’s one of the things I hate most about my liaison work for a public entity where I interact with social worker types all the time. They’re always carrying on about needing more funding or the “dam will burst” for their specific program. They see themselves as benevolent workers, slaving away for the public benefit and use the number of government dependents they serve as justification for program expansion. What they never, never admit is that they are earning comparatively fantastic salaries and benefits that they would otherwise not be getting if their program went away.

          Selfish bastards who claim selflessness and see themselves as martyrs.

      3. So as many of you know, starting on June 1 I’m going to eat for less than $5.00 a day as a social experiment to prove that anyone who thinks you can’t eat for the amount of money you get on food stamps is an idiot.

        Seems pretty straightforward to me.

      4. Fuck off, scum. Why don’t you grow some balls and murder some rich people like you want to, you disgusting piece of shit?

      5. It’s more about you learning something. Since you’re apparently incapable of that, I’m not sure what the point is.

    13. Typical of you one percenters with your fancy and safe cooking stoves and kitchens and fancy knives and cooking utensils, thinking that the poor have all the luxuries that your privilege has bought you!

    14. Will you actually be spending $5.00 per day on food? Or are you budgeting $5.00 per day over some longer period like a week or a month?

      $150 per month on food for one person is doable if you buy in bulk, cook for a week at a time, and pay attention to cost per ounce.

      1. I’m not spending $5.00 a day, I’m spending at the same rate provided to you by food stamps. Which means it’s really $133 a month, which is less than $5.00 a day. It’s more like $4.40 a day once you average it off across the year.

        I’m buying ahead of time and cooking. I’m also completely cutting any soda or junk food from my diet and am going to stop drinking coffee.

        1. Are you a drinker? If so, are you maintaining it?

          Alcohol gets a bad rap as a destructive indulgence, but it’s also incredibly palliative. Poor folk are written off as drunken slobs for imbibing regularly, but I’m coming around to the notion that drinking moderately might be a necessity for most people. Life is stressful, but our brains do a lot to engender and aggravate stress. Helping mitigate the oppressive sense of impending ruin for a few hours is worth something.

          Or maybe I’m just excusing my own habits.

          1. Pabst Blue Ribbon!

        2. “am going to stop drinking coffee”

          There is no freaking way I could do that. Power to you!

    15. Soda and candy are human rights! So is gastric bypass surgery! Racist!

    16. Are we talking $5 per day or $35 per week? Because if it’s the latter (and assuming you’re starting from scratch, so to speak), you can get yourself a bag of flour, yeast, and salt, and you’re off to the races. Eggs are cheap as fuck and a great source of protein, then you go for stuff like oatmeal, lentils, potatoes of course, and milk. Ends-and-pieces gets you some good meats and cheeses under $5. I don’t know if this is cheating or not, but depending on where you are you can score some tomato plants for cheap and, with care, you’ll be knee-deep in the things by July. Same with potatoes, actually. And if you can hunt and/or fish, well shit, there you go.

  11. Question: How can a socialist be critical of soldiers and cops when socialism necessitates throwing people in prison for failing to obey the dictates of the socialist state? That means that a socialist economic system needs a very active police force in order to imprison people who don’t give what the government has deemed to be their ‘fair share.’

    1. Yes, but *American* soldiers and cops enforce capitalism, which is oppressive. In the socialist utopia, these noble servants of the people will promote social justice, and of course people who are truly committed to social justice will be affected, only kulaks and wreckers.

      1. and of course people who are truly committed to social justice will be affected

        +1 ice pick

        1. I’m surprised they didn’t try to blame Trotsky’s murder on right-wing reactionaries.

          Or maybe they did.

    2. You missed the part where american socialist constantly offers up apologia for murderous socialist regimes. See, in american socialist’s mind, ‘socialist states’ engaging in that behaviour is completely fine or is something to be ignored, while ‘corporatist states’ engaging in it is something he can use to criticize something he already dislikes. This is a guy who offers up a shitty whataboutism related to America every time someone points out the Soviet Union’s brutally repressive nature.

      1. In other words, american socialist is a dumber, less informed version of PBP with an altogether less credible axe to grind.

        But what about BOOOOOOOOOOSH

        In unrelated news, Yosemite kinda pisses me off. Holding down a vowel key now brings up a menu for various accented and umlauted variations.

  12. OT: This isn’t you, Francisco, is it?

    “As the court is aware, this case involves five different counts aimed at girls between the ages of 11 and 15,” Pabst said. “It involves him loitering around bus stops and middle schools targeting these young victims. Additionally, Mr. Francisco is currently on probation for twice masturbating outside a woman’s home while looking in on her.”

    1. When masturbation is outlawed, only outlaws will………………..yada yada yada.

    2. Not that anyone will be able to prove.

      1. Besides, you have tinted windows.

    3. I fail to see the problem here.

  13. Maybe I’m jaded, but I thought this movie was bad. Politics aside, the story on which this is based is probably based more on fabrication than truth, the plot and dialogue were simplistic and trite, the science of sniping was reduced to someone shooting targets at 100 yards, I could go on…
    I’m surprised Loder excepts the 160 kill count and mile-shot without any doubts or mentions of all the other Kyle fabrications and exaggerations.

    1. Jesus, the spelling. No more phone comments from me.

    2. “the story on which this is based is probably based more on fabrication than truth”

      Which is why all the *good* movies are 100% true.

      Gone With the Wind
      Casablanca
      Wizard of OZ
      Saturday Night Fever

      all documentary, cinema verite

      Facts are AWESOME

      1. Your examples are fiction. None of those movies claim to be based in truth. I’m not talking about normal hollywood embellishments, either. I’m saying Kyle fabricated a lot of his claims, and therefore the movie is also based on a lie. The lies negate all the other themes in the movie.

      2. Your examples are fiction. None of those movies claim to be based in truth. I’m not talking about normal hollywood embellishments, either. I’m saying Kyle fabricated a lot of his claims, and therefore the movie is also based on a lie. The lies negate all the other themes in the movie.

        1. Wow, you should make movies you’re so smart

          1. I really don’t understand your objection; you haven’t made a cogent argument yet. Gone With the Wind isn’t comparable to a supposed work of non-fiction. If someone made a movie about the 2 cups of tea guy, people would call bs, because everyone now knows that his story was fabricated. It’s ridiculous to debate whether or not this movie is pro-war, or if it depicts Kyle as human, etc., when the whole thing is lie. It also happens to be a bad piece of fiction, as well.

            1. “Uh, he totally only shot like….. uhm, 100 people!! Ok, 134. BUT TOTALLY DIFFERENT STORY!!! LIES FROM TOP TO BOTTOM!”

              Dude, I shot like, 100 people this morning. That guy was so full of shit.

              1. That’s not all he lied about, buddy. But by all means, continue to embarrass yourself defending the guy. He also claimed that every kill, without any doubt, was a terrorist. A popular tactic at the time was baiting, in which a piece of military equipment was left in an intersection, anyone who touched the piece of equipment would be shot. This was a loophole in the ROE that the SEALS loved to exploit in order to get their rocks off and inflate their numbers. Think of it as the counter-terrorism version of a bait car that is left with all of its doors open and the keys in the ignition. When a 15 y/o kid gets in and the cops nab him, they claim to have taken down a car thief, which is technically correct, but we all know is ineffective at getting actual car thieves.

                1. Because that’s why people go to war = to pad their kill-stats.

                  Keep going, its hilarious.

                  1. You are ignorant, as are most. Within special operations, SEALS are not highly regarded. They are well known for their, let’s say, less than careful target identification. If you also think that commanders and individual troops do not gain prestige from the amount of kills they can claim, then you are mistaken. My own NCOER’s would contain bullet points about how many enemy were killed/captured on mission that I participated in. Again, it’s not even the number that I care much about, it’s the claim that that number also represents actual terrorists, when in fact, whatever the actual number is, it contains a non-zero number of civilians.

                    1. “whatever the actual number is, it contains a non-zero number of civilians.”

                      Wow, that’s Bo-level insight there

                      “Bo Cara Esq.|2015/03/17 21:14:32|#5161617

                      Not everybody but certainly not nobody “

                      and so were the bullshit claims parsed into nothingness.

                    2. Jesus Fucking Christ, shut the fuck up you piece of shit.

                    3. Your fucking NCOER contained enemy killed numbers Huh ? Do you get this shit from a “Soldier of Fortune” magazine or some shit ? Shut the hell up. So much stupid.

                    4. Oh, oh, no. Someone said nothing at all other than “stupid”. I’m eviscerated, here.

                2. Its fun how something apparently-reasonable like “details were exaggerated” turns into “they murdered children for sport to ‘get their rocks off'”…. without so much as a pause for breath.

                  no, no underlying agenda here. Purely *factual* concerns.

                  1. Tell me, what is my agenda?

                    1. Because I thought we were talking about a really dumb movie…that is also a bunch of bullshit being passed off as a true story.

                    2. ” a bunch of bullshit being passed off as a true story.”

                      I hear the entire Iraq was was built on a lie, therefore = NEVER HAPPENED

                    3. Not to mention the slow-motion trainwreck that is northern Iraq. It’s the fault of Bush for tearing up the country in his oil-mad pursuit of profits, therefore ISIS isn’t really an issue for Obama.

                    4. Ok man. Continue to hold onto the belief that somehow, a guy who claims to have punched Jesse Ventura out, shot americans from the top of the super dome, and killed two carjackers stateside, is telling the truth about everything else. I’m sure all those kills were “good shoots”. I’m sure he shot a guy with one attempt at over a mile, I’m sure he didn’t use bait tactics, as every other sniper was at the time….really, what are you standing up for here?

                    5. “what are you standing up for here?”

                      Clint, Fucking, Eastwood.

                      bitch

                  2. no, no underlying agenda here. Purely *factual* concerns.

                    Joe Friday himself.

                3. A popular tactic at the time was baiting, in which a piece of military equipment was left in an intersection, anyone who touched the piece of equipment would be shot.

                  Citation required. A damned good citation.

                  1. please Francisco. We know there’s hardly any difference between veterans bragging about drunken bullshit, and the systematic cold blooded murder of civilians. One is obviously is proof of the other.

                    This was well known to everyone… except the DoD who vetted his book prior to publication…. and the writers/producers/directors who put millions of dollars into producing the film… and the military lawyers who scrutinized all the confirmed kills he had for strictly following the ROE….

                    1. I’m guessing you didn’t read past the headline, since you made numerous assertions not supported by your own source.

                    2. That article wasn’t my source, but others in here insist that I do their Google for them. I have first hand experience, which I’m sure you will doubt, since it doesn’t at all fit with your emotionally generated beliefs. The hero worship is fucking thick.

                    3. What do accusations against the 501st infantry have to do with Chris Kyle?

                    4. It is funny reading posts from someone like DOL claiming to have served and had their kills listed on their NCOER yet isn’t able to distinguish an Army unit from a Navy Seal. Pathetic.

                    5. I never claimed that my kills were listed. Total ekia and captured on operations I participated in were, however. Others in her claimed that baiting wasn’t a tactic in use at the time, I have already proven their assertion to be false. Kyle is the proven liar in this debate, but you can keep attacking my bona fides if that let’s you maintain your childish view of sniper heroes, or whatever your fantasy is.

                    6. It is funny reading posts from someone like DOL claiming to have served and had their kills listed on their NCOER yet isn’t able to distinguish an Army unit from a Navy Seal. Pathetic.

                    7. DOL
                      Your cite doesn’t exain the plastic baby. WTF?!?!

        2. I’m saying Kyle fabricated a lot of his claims, and therefore the movie is also based on a lie.

          The Jesse Ventura incident and the truck robbery is, I think, an exhaustive list of exaggerations, and neither made it into the movie. Or: you can still make factually accurate movies about possibly dishonest people.

        3. Shakespeare’s Henry V certainly is based more on fabrication than truth, but does that somehow undermine the nature of the story being told? Not really, because it’s not attempting to present itself as documentary piece. Is American Sniper attempting to portray itself as a documentary piece as well?

          1. The book title: American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History

            The film is based on the book. If the lies/inaccuracies are in the book then they probably weren’t undone in the film (though they could have been omitted). I’m not sure I’d call the film a pure documentary but I also wouldn’t give mistakes a free pass. If he used a Remington Model 700 in .308 with a 6X ACOG on it for a particular shot in real life then the film should have had that same setup in Bradley Cooper’s hands.

            1. ” If the lies/inaccuracies are in the book then they probably weren’t undone in the film”

              and the damage done to the world as a consequence will never be repaired.

              /dramaqueen

              1. The discussion was whether it should be considered historically accurate.

                Some have suggested the plastic baby should have been replaced with an invisible baby seated in a visible high chair with Eastwood doing a reverse fourth wall breaking by entering the film and having a conversation with it. Dunno if that would have been worse than the plastic baby.

                It is ok to lie if it makes a better film to grostulate to.
                /chris kyle sycophant

                1. President Obama’s auto is full of made up stuff.

                  1. Deflection to Obama? Strong argument.

    3. Having not seen this great American film, is it safe to say that American Sniper is about as realistic a portrayal of Chris Kyle’s life as Bloodsport was of Frank W. Dux’s?

      1. KUMETAI IS REAL THERE WAS A DOCUMENTARY

  14. I didn’t find proof online, but I thought Eastwood — when he ran for mayor of Carmel-By-The-Sea — claimed he was a libertarian. If I read that, it was probably in the dead-tree version of Reason, back in the 80s. Paper magazines, kids! You can look it up!

    1. I watched an interview with him where he actually said it.

      I’m paraphrasing:

      Q: Politically speaking, what do you call yourself?

      Clint: I guess you’d call me a libertarian.

      I distinctly remember a qualifier in there, so he’s not a purist, but…I’ll take it.

      1. I hate to admit that may have been an episode of Ellen, after the chair, where he said he didn’t give a shit who married whom.

    2. You are correct, Eastwood describes himself as a Libertarian (and it was in Reason a long time ago, as I read it, but don’t remember when). Nevertheless, it is online such as at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P…..t_Eastwood

    1. Who cares about Elsa? She’s frigid.

      1. Besides, they cut the best scene out of the movie.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dooAjI6yOhg

  15. Seeing as this is Saturday and therefore we get no AM/PM links, I’ll just leave this here. Sorry if it’s a repost, I haven’t been around for a few days.

    Nancy Giles of CBS Sunday Morning accused hip hop critic and cultural commentator Jay Smooth of being a white man who is trying to “code switch,” i.e., talk “black” to reach the rap audience.

    Smooth ? who was born John Randolph to a black father and a white mother ? gently explained to Giles that he is, in fact, black.

    1. Her verbal pirouette is something to be admired. Not so much because she recovered?she didn’t?but because she didn’t miss a beat or acknowledge the faux pas. She’d give the WH press secretary a run for his money.

      Except for Dana Perino, who’s an angel.

    2. Funny how in my MAT-TESOL classes, teachers were encouraged to help students learn code-switching to help them succeed. I guess USC is behind the curve on allowed race-think.

  16. I wonder if Eastwood actually asked Michael Moore to publicly criticize the film thus making it every right thinking, God fearing, military genuflecting, American conservatives’ moral duty to see the film? At the least he should get some of the profits…

    1. Oh look, Botard’s back. Was beginning to wonder if you’d make it in today…

      1. And being an asshole, right out of the chute. SHOCKED, I AM!

        1. Do you need me to UPS you your shocked face?

          1. I have an extra one lying around somewhere.

    2. Eastwood didn’t need to ask Moore. Moore sticks his foot in his mouth often enough, especially criticizing the free market which allowed him to make millions.

  17. my friend’s step-sister makes $63 /hr on the laptop . She has been out of a job for 7 months but last month her pay check was $21721 just working on the laptop for a few hours.

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  18. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t really have time for these “tales of human interest from massive government fuckups!” stories.

    1. Funny, but you do have time to read/comment on them.

      You may not be interested in government and “government f**kups”, but government is very interested in you. Even Obama suggested that government should force you to vote or fine/jail you if you don’t. He’s that interested.

    1. Those obstructionist Republicans are turning my political appointment into a political fight. How dare they!

  19. Don’t feed the troll, plz.

    1. Yes, do not respond to Playa’s scurrilous slander of speculative stories of humanity’s future!

      Save the acrimony for Reason’s Hit and Run’s college football season.

    2. “Don’t feed the troll, plz.”
      When he’s simply assholic in the first post, it’s easier even for those who still maintain some fantasy about the shit’s sincerity.

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  22. This is an interesting analysis, but Kurt Loder is no Tim Heidecker. Hell, he’s barly a Greg Turkingon.

    1. Thar’s barley in them beers.

    2. I give this comment 5 bags of popcorn, and two of those hats with little propellers on them.

  23. Huh, has everyone gone running out of the room crying, yet?

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  25. This is worst review I’ve ever read by Kurt. Although “American Sniper’ is gritty in appearance in ways that cheap propaganda films like “Rambo” are not, it’s a propaganda film nonetheless. I have a takedown on my own blog, and others have appeared at Slate and the American Conservative. Sorry, Kurt, you phoned this one in.

    1. KULTURWAR WRONGTHINK DOUBLENEGATIVE!! DENOUNCE!! DENOUNCE!!

    2. How fucking pathetic do you have to be that you come to a place where you haven’t voiced a single opinion that was either A) coherent or B) shared by anyone else here to shill for your shitty blogspot blog.

      1. Well, mtrueman doesn’t quite blog-pitch here, but he does link his blog and his ‘opinions’ are similarly incoherent.
        But, still, not even *he* wonders over and pulls the carny midway moves.

        1. Do you think both of his blog followers have read the review yet?

    3. Beware! Blog-pitch!
      …”I have a takedown on my own blog,”…
      Oh, boy! I’ll rush right over and, uh, no I won’t…

      1. Party like it’s 1999.

  26. I’m glad to see this article getting some press. After the movie came out, all the political brouhaha was off base IMHO. The liberals all attacked Kyle as a “coward” or “monster” while others claimed that Eastwood made him out to be a hero. It was like the Democrats/Socialists vs. NeoConservatives, with no other opinions allowed.

    I agree with Loder, Eastwood (who describes himself as a libertarian) made a compelling movie about a sniper, in a war that wasn’t what Kyle expected it to be, and about a war that Eastwood didn’t see as one in our interests. But Eastwood wisely (perhaps quite intelligently) didn’t dwell on the politics, and instead focused on Kyle and the effects the war had on him.

  27. Please add this to the related article.

    https://reason.com/archives/201…..as-no-hero

    Because I love this Country and I support our troops, that article really shook me and those frankly words opened a new door about the perception about the Bushes wars. Honestly, that’s the reason I sent my contribution to Reason. To be honest this very positive review with the final link to Amazon is – for me – a little surprising.

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  29. “These wars are won and lost in the minds of our enemies,”

    But it is true. When the will to fight ends so does the war. Judging from history (since about 700 AD) it will be a long one.

  30. Some on the left are definitely repulsed at this movie, viewing it as a priest profascist work, and spend a lot of time pillorying all those horrible Merkuns in flyover country and their rah rah response

    It’s NOT a pro war movie, it’s s character study, and those that admit that LOATHE the character of Kyle

    I am talking stuff you can read at commondreams or Chomsky’s take, or even the guardian and a lot of British stuff

    It’s really refreshing to see them get all
    Scornful towards us horrible Americans and our ‘fascist’ tendencies etc and EVERY one misinterprets Kyle’s line about killing ‘savages’ saying he is referring to all Iraqis, and not the kind of scum that take a power drill to somebody’s head

    It’s beautiful that it outs these ninnies, much like I enjoy seeing anticop bigots here start devolving into a frothing factsbedamned mess whenever the latest alleged outrage (hands up don’t shoot lies etc) are brought up

    Eastwood is not simple minded and he is not gung ho on war, but presenting Kyle in any manner other than an awful ‘fascist’ murderer is guaranteed to bring the anti american, elitist (Ioved the article that referenced Americans who would rather drink beer and watch football than read a book!) ninnies out in droves and it certainly didn’t fail

    Kyle is a hero, but a flawed one, as they invariably are, and war sucks and Eastwood knows it

  31. I can’t believe this thread even brought out anti bait car morons!

    Yea, sure … Bait cars add ineffective at catching auto thieves because everybody knows that somehow magically, people who are not auto thieves choose to steal bait cars. There is no apparent difference to a potential auto thief as to a bait car, or a very typical auto theft where Sally soccer mom leaves keys I. Ignition when she warms up car or when she runs into Starbucks

    One if the easiest metrics to ferret out a crime loving libertine idiot from an actual libertarian is opposition to bait car stings

    Bait cars catch auto thieves and only auto thieves

    If you decide to take a car because somebody left he keys in the ignition – you are an auto thief

    Period

    I love stuff like this because it outs people as completely unserious and in fact frivolous thinkers and as the type who is simply anti-state for the sake of it, no matter how positive the state action. And bait csr stings are an EXTREMELY beneficial and positive state action

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