Brian Alkerton

No, Mexico's Not Going To Pay For The Wall. It Makes No Economic Sense.

They're gonna build the wall, and they're gonna make Mexico pay for it... how? Oh, the US has a trade deficit of $58B/year to Mexico. $58B every year. Would Mexico risk that over $10-12B for a wall to stop illegal immigrants?

Yeah, they would. If you don't understand why that is, maybe it would help to explain what a trade deficit means, how it works in practice, and why the US triggering a trade war with Mexico would be a horrible, horrible idea. This is gonna involve some math, but it's pretty straightforward math, and to keep it as simple as possible I'm...


My Friends, Too Many Of You Are Acting Like Assholes

I've always been outspoken, and these days I'm freer than ever to speak my mind. Short of physical violence, there really isn't anything you could threaten me with that would silence me on a given issue. Despite this, I've noticed something weird lately: my willingness to be vicious if it makes my point stronger has gone down at precisely the same time that I'm seeing more and more nastiness in the opinions of others.

I see it in every story I see posted about Uber. People are applauding the loss of people's livelihoods, livelihoods that we guaranteed them if they ponied up for a taxi plate. I...


13 Hours And The Politics Of Simplicity

Last night I caught Michael Bay's latest, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi. As an action film? It's pretty damn good, and while it never quite reaches the giddy heights of The Rock or Pain & Gain, the action sequences are visceral, shot with a great sense of geography, and while the characters are thin, the performances are grounded in reality. Bay knows how to make a great action movie, and he largely succeeds. 

Knowing that the story of what happened in Benghazi has been political fodder for years, I wanted to read some reviews before going in. Michael...


My Favourite Movie Pairings Of The Year

Top 10 lists are a dime a dozen. Here's my list of the 5 most interesting movie pairings of 2015. 

5) Spectre/Kingsman: I could list a dozen movies this year that I enjoyed more than Spectre, but I think it's a fascinating misfire. While Casino Royale is thought of as the reboot, it's not until the closing scene of Skyfall that we've got Moneypenny, M, Q, and Bond all back together, ready to set off on new adventures and freed from obligations to past continuity. And with all that freedom to tell any stories they want, they made...


Whatever Helps You Get Through The Day

I don't believe in God, but at the same time I don't feel confident saying with anything approaching certainty that there is no God. I don't think there's sufficient evidence out there to prove he exists, but the evidence he doesn't exist, while it basically encompasses all of science so far... well, it's just that. So far. Did someone flip the switch on the Big Bang? I don't know. No one does. "But God requires faith..." That's the kind of bullshit people tell themselves to justify their worldview. I mean, it doesn't look like God exists, but it didn't look like...