The Empty Balcony: Predator

Predator is everything a 1980s action movie ought to be. It’s loud, overwrought, over-roided, and filled with cliché and blinding amounts of muzzle flash. All the characters are macho, carved out of wood, and traverse their fictional universe with names like Dutch! Dillion! Mac! Pancho! Blain! Hawkins! and...Billy. I’m surprised there wasn’t a character named ‘Duke’ in there somewhere. Oh, wait. Actor Bill Duke plays ‘Mac.’ Close enough. Continue reading “The Empty Balcony: Predator”

The Iraq War Is Over

This past weekend, the last American troops crossed the border from Iraq into Kuwait. It has been almost nine years since the invasion of Iraq commenced in March of 2003, much of it passing through the same spot on the border the troops crossed on their way home. The costs of the war have been measured and reported, to the point they have become abstractions. 4,800 American and coalition dead, somewhere around 30,000 belligerents dead, over 100,000 civilians dead, and over $800 billion drained from the national coffers. It was a war of choice begun on false pretenses. We toppled a toothless dictator at enormous cost to ourselves in the form of lives, treasure, moral standing, and freedoms at home. We destabilized a region of the world hardly known for its rigidity, and emboldened Iran, one of our more consistent enemies. Continue reading “The Iraq War Is Over”