Bring Out Yer Dead! Or At Least 55% of Their Wealth.

Well it’s 2013. We survived a lot this past year. The Mayan’s really poor sense of humor, our President and Secretary of State blaming a youtube video for the death of 4 Americans, Hamas attacking Israel and nearly starting an all out war, the “ceasefire” between Palestine and Israel, Hurricanes, the election season, election night (I nearly didn’t survive that and several bottles of alcohol were murdered, but we made it), and I managed to not punch anyone in the face this year.

That was a close one to be honest and if I had physical access to some of the liberals on tumblr, that might not have happened.

However big things are happening this year and we need to discuss them. The obvious issue would be the fiscal cliff, but that’s a horse that’s been well and truly beat to death by better people than me and I’d like to avoid it.

Something that people have not been talking about as much is the fact that estate taxes (commonly referred to as “Death taxes”) are going up to 55% this year and $1 million is now the threshold. This would be a really bad year to die and leave an inheritance to your kids.

Two decades ago, Kester paid the IRS $2 million when he inherited a 22,000-acre cattle ranch from his grandfather. Come January, the tax burden on his children will be more than $13 million.

For supporters of a high estate tax, which is imposed on somebody’s estate after death, Kester is the kind of person they rarely mention. He doesn’t own a mansion. He’s not the CEO of a multi-national. But because of his line of work, he owns a lot of property that would be subject to a lot of tax.

“We’re not millionaires in the terms of making a million dollars a year,” said Kester who lives in a modest home and whose family — not outsiders or a corporation — runs his ranch. “I have a half-a-million dollars in soil.”

Kester can’t spend it, without selling land. But by selling the land, each year the ranch would become less viable.

- Fox News

In fact this will effect over half a million family farms in the United States.

See, an estate tax does not tax income or liquid assets. It taxes your assets and your estate. “A tax levied on the net value of the estate of a deceased person before distribution to the heirs.” And the estate and assets of a farm or ranch, while not liquid in many cases, add up to being worth a pretty penny very quickly. Land is not cheap and neither is the farming equipment or cattle or other livestock that one would find on a farm or ranch.

In 1997, a study looked at 22 herds of cows that averaged 99 heads of cattle and with the cost of cows being extremely high ($900 a head or more) the asset of a heard of cows could be worth over $100,000.

Then the land could be worth several million on its own.

Crops grown on a farm could be considered an asset and wheat, corn, and other crops are worth a lot!

Farm equipment is another expensive asset.

Family farms and family cattle ranches, which may not have much in the way of liquid assets (many do not) are quite often worth more than the million dollar asset limit asset limit.

So what happens when the person who owns one of this asset rich family farm or ranch dies and passes on the property to their children?

Well in the case of the Kester family, his children will have to pay a ‘death tax’ of $13 million dollars on his estate. The ranch does not have that sort of liquid worth, so the children will have to sell off part of their father’s land, their birthright,  to pay the IRS.

Pay them for what exactly?

For the fact that their father died?

The land has neither gained nor lost value with the death of the father. The land is probably not even leaving the family line, no one is making a profit from the transfer of the land from the father to child.

But the IRS, like vultures picking the flesh off the dead, want their piece of the pie.

The estate tax is a relic that not even Russia or China still employ. Are we really so greedy and grasping that we use the death of someone as a reason to snatch as much of his or her property and assets as we can?

I guess the answer to that is yes, but it shouldn’t be.

Estate taxes are an unethical money grab by the government and they need to go. Even if the limit was moved up to protect family farms and ranches, the estate tax would still need to go. It’s a sign of greed and grasping at anything that someone else has earned.

I want to pass on my wealth to my children. That’s why I work so hard to better myself, not just to give them a better life while I’m with them, but to leave them something when I pass on. I don’t do it to give the government 55% of it when I die.

and CALL OFF CHRISTMAS!!!

Robin Hood is a heroic story of conservative principles, I’ve said that before on this blog.

Now the only real bright point of that Kevin Costner film that clip above is from is Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham. Especially his death scene.* It’s a crappy movie, but if you don’t judge my brain candy, I won’t judge you for that time you watched Jersey Shore.

The quality of the movie, or lack there of, isn’t the point of this post though.

You see, the Obama administration has effectively placed themselves as the Sheriff of Nottingham in America’s little version of Robin Hood.

They even threatened Christmas! What kind of monster does that?!

In a Monday report, the White House warned that failure to resolve the impasse over a tax and deficit deal could undermine consumer confidence this holiday season.

A new report from the National Economic Council and the Council of Economic Advisers timed to the online shopping holiday “cyber Monday” estimated that consumers could spend close to $200 billion less, while GDP growth could slow by 1.4 percentage points in 2013.

The report also warns that the psychological impact of a looming middle class tax hike could put a huge dent in retail sales over the holidays — traditionally the most important retail period of the year.

“Consumer confidence over the next several weeks is particularly important,” the report warns. “If Congress does not act on the president’s plan to extend tax cuts for the middle-class, it will be risking one of the key contributors to growth and jobs in our economy at the most important time of the year for retail stores.”

- Politico

As Doug Powers said in his article on MichelleMalkin.com: Raise taxes on the rich or Christmas gets it!

The funny thing about this is that the article was published on Politico on the 26th, but on the 25th Politico reported that there was a “Record start for holiday season”.

It’s estimated that U.S. shoppers hit stores and websites at record numbers over  the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, according to a survey released by the  National Retail Federation on Sunday.

All told, a record 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over the  four-day weekend starting Thanksgiving, up 9.2 percent of last year, according  to a survey of 4,000 shoppers that was conducted by research firm BIGinsight for  the trade group. Americans spent more too: The average holiday shopper spent  $423 over the entire weekend, up from $398. Total spending over the four-day  weekend totaled $59.1 billion, up 12.8 percent from 2011.

- Politico

Hmm…so which is it Obama? Is the looming fiscal cliff really going to effect consumers that much? Because it seems like it isn’t doing much at all.

I argue that is because the majority of American’s are morons, I’m certianly not out spending tons of money this Holiday season, but then again my argument is confirmed by Obama winning the election.

People are idiots and sales will continue to pull them in. They are spending MORE now than they were in years previous, which means your little threats that Christmas will be ruined if we don’t let you raise taxes, we’re not buying it Scrooge.

Stop threatening to call of Christmas and do your damn job.

I’m on Robin Hood’s side here. If you are going to raise my taxes, I’m probably not going to be spending much at all. You can’t spend my money better than I can, especially not in the Holiday season. A welfare check doesn’t mean quite as much as buying my sister that new Taylor Swift songbook** and it doesn’t look as nice when wrapped up under the tree.

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*Because if there is one thing Alan Rickman is fantastic at, it’s overblown death scenes.

**Here’s hoping she doesn’t read this blog.

So Basically What You’re Saying Here is “Don’t you dare criticize anyone who isn’t white”

At least that’s what I’m getting from Richard Wolffe’s little rant 

There is the question about John Kerry, but I think now that John McCain has sunk his teeth in, he’s made it about presidential authority, and, frankly, it’s outrageous that there is this witch hunt going on the right about these people of color, let’s face it, around this president. Eric Holder, Valerie Jarrett, now Susan Rice. Before it was Van Jones. This is not about who is hawkish in the same way John McCain is about foreign policy because if you look at Iran and Libya, Susan Rice checks those boxes. This is a personal vendetta.

So what you are saying Wolffe, let me get this straight, is that it doesn’t matter if someone is responsible for a severely imbecilic government program that put over a thousand guns into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels, guns which resulted in the death of two of our own border patrol agents and 300 injuries and deaths in Juarez, if you are not white, you get an automatic ‘get out of jail free’ card and an exemption from criticism?

If you aren’t white, you can make statements like “Given the daunting challenges that we face, it’s important that president elect Obama is prepared to really take power and begin to rule day one.” and be one of Obama’s ‘closest advisers’ with ties to radical, anti-American figures, and the American public doesn’t have the right to vet you?

You can be the ‘green czar’ and a self-avowed communist who held an anti-American rally the day after September 11th, who has expressed a desire to replace American’s Capitalist economy with Marxism, and it’s racist for us to investigate your background, because you aren’t white.

If you spread falsehoods about the cause of the deaths of 4 American citizens, one of them an Ambassador, and refuse to admit that the talking points you used in interviews were, in fact, not correct and not based on the best information our intelligence community had, but you said your scripted lines regardless, it’s somehow wrong for us to criticize you and protest the idea that you might be given more power, when you’ve already proved you couldn’t handle what you had.

We’re crazy and racist for wanted to vet the people making decisions in this country. Apparently we are on a witch hunt.

Well you know what, we’ll continue to vet them and question their background and question their intentions for this country, because that’s the way this country works.

And quite honestly, your whole hysterical “You’re a RACIST!” rants are getting less and less effective. Every time you use that argument, we know that we’ve won the argument, because you have nothing left to hit us with.

This is what defeated us?

 

Obama supporters vs. The Constitution

There was no triumph in his face, no elation, only the still intensity of contemplating the enormity of the smallness of the enemy who was destroying the world. He felt as if, after a journey of years through a landscape of devastation, past the ruins of great factories, the wrecks of powerful engines, the bodies of invincible men, he had come upon the despoiler, expecting to find a giant – and had found a rat eager to scurry for cover at the first sound of a human step. If this is what has beaten us, he thought, the guilt is ours.

- Rearden, Atlas Shrugged

I feel confident…and exhausted.

I am confident that Romney is going to win this and in January we will be watching the Inauguration of President Mitt Romney.

I will be at the polls tomorrow and I will cast my vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, the men can bring our country back from the downward spiral that President Obama has put us in.

This is the most important, most exciting, most exhausting, election that has happened in my lifetime and, god willing, it will be the most important one of my lifetime.

I’m not really sure I can deal with such a stressful election season again.

Just remember to

How exactly does this promote ‘equality’? A question for gay liberals and The Advocate.

Would you like to know which news story is conspicuously absent from The Advocate today?

No, it’s not the latest hatchet job attempt to make Romney into a vicious homophobe. They have a new article doing that every other day.

It’s not an outraged article about how offensive the Timberlake/Biel wedding video was to Transsexuals. That’s on the top of the main page.

And it’s certainly not an article about the ’25 gayest Halloween movies’.

No, the story that is 100% absent from a website that claims to be “The World’s Leading LGBT News Source” is a story of an assault on a gay man in Wisconsin, which has been reported on by the Daily Caller and The Examiner.

Why is this story not being reported on by The Advocate? I certainly can’t claim to know their reasoning, but I feel like it probably has to do with the fact that Kyle Wood, who is currently in the hospital following the assault in his own home yesterday morning, is a Republican who is a full-time volunteer for Chad Lee’s Republican campaign for the House.*

Wood told The Daily Caller that vandalism preceding the assault, along with his attacker’s statements during the incident, suggested his sexual orientation and his politics each played a role.

“I was getting ready for work and there was a knock at the door,” Wood emailed The Daily Caller late Wednesday. “I opened it, and a guy wrapped a ligature around my neck, slammed my head into the doorway, and smashed my face into a mirror, telling me ‘You should have kept your [f*******] mouth shut.’”

“He then kidney-punched me, while at the same time saying I was ‘warned,’ and continued to beat me,” he added.

Wood said his attacker’s reference to a warning likely pointed to graffiti he found painted on his car last week. The vandalism included the phrases “house trained republican faggot,” “traitor,” and “ur like a jew 4 hitler.”

Those slurs, he explained, were references to him being a gay Republican working to help Lee, a straight GOP candidate, defeat the openly gay Democrat Mark Pocan.

- The Daily Caller

I hate the term ‘hate crime’, but there is literally no other way to describe this vicious, malicious, hateful assault, which occurred for only one reason, Wood had the audacity to be gay and openly conservative. Which The Advocate, given their silence on the issue  despite their usual vocal quality when it comes to hate crimes against the LGBT community, seems to almost approve of.

Wood was unable to move the right side of his body immediately following Wednesday morning’s assault. He was transported by ambulance to Meriter Hospital in Madison. His eyes were swollen shut by the beating, and he suffered a concussion along with neck and head lacerations.

Wood told The Daily Caller, yesterday, “I will not be bullied, intimidated or threatened into abandoning my moral values.”
Anyone who knows me well, or reads this blog, knows that I am of the same mind  as Wood, but this entire story (and the gay communities silence on the issue) disgusts and terrifies me as a moral person and a gay conservative myself.

Where is this ‘equality’ that the liberal LGBT community keeps preaching?

The truth is, they don’t think we deserve it, so why should they bring attention to a story about a gay conservative who has been brutalized.

They think we deserve to be assaulted and put in our place.

Much the same way that liberal ‘feminists’ have a habit of ignoring (or joining in on) hateful, vile, and cruel words and actions against conservative women.

Hey Advocate, get off your ass and denounce the unknown attacker who performed this hate crime. Tell your reader’s this is unacceptable behavior. Tell them that no one, no matter what their political views, deserves to be treated this way.

If you don’t, the only thing that gay conservatives can take away is that you tacitly approve of our assault.

Ah well, I’m not holding out any hope that you will.

“It Gets Better” my ass.

 

 

Additionally, the former holder of the seat that Lee is running for (Tammy Baldwin, gay Democrat) and the challenger to Lee (Pocan, gay Democrat) have said not one word about the attack.

Wood said he is offended by the silence from the two usually vocal gay icons in the 2nd Congressional District. Pocan and Baldwin, he said, have historically sprung to the defense of victims of violence in the gay community.

“I find their lack of response maybe not unexpected but lacking decorum,” he said.  “I don’t look for a response from either of them, but from a political standpoint that’s what this race will come down to: do you want to elect someone who is going represent the entire 2nd District or do you want to elect someone who will pick and choose who they want to represent?  That’s what their lack of a statement is telling me, that I’m no longer a person to be represented.”

- WatchDog.org

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*This is only days after the son of  Senator Neal Kedzie (also Wisconsin, what the hell is wrong with liberals in that state?) was hospitalized after a beating that occurred when he tried to stop a man from stealing his Romney yard sign.

Freepac Phoenix is this weekend.

As I’ve recently found my admiration and respect for Glenn Beck to be rekindled (so much so that I’ve been getting up at 6 in the morning to catch his entire radio show before class) and Dana Loesch will be there, you can bet your ass I’m going to be in attendance.

It’s rare to have a local political conference of the conservative type (even in this red state). The last one I attended was Right Online in Las Vegas this summer and that was quite an adventure.

It looks like a great line up of speakers at the event, which will include a 2 hour grassroots training seminar and a 3 hour rally from 4pm to 7pm. If you are a local reader, you should shell out the $15 ticket fee and join me there. Tweet me (@MeredithAncret) if you come.

If you don’t come, never fear. I’ll likely be live tweeting at least portions of the event at that same twitter account and I’ll do a write up of the even afterwards.

For a write up on a previous Freepac event, look no further than Dirty Sex & Politics whose author, Donlyn Turnbull, covered their event in Dallas this summer.

PS: Who else is excited to watch Paul Ryan completely humiliate Joe ‘Gaffe’ Biden Thursday night?

Also Atlas Shrugged Part II comes out this Friday. Buy a ticket, support the movie, and drag your friends to see it. I have it on good authority (from CommunismKills on tumblr who went to an early release) that’s much better than the first one and definitely worth your time and money. I’ll post about that after I go to see it as well.

One year ago, today.

Do you remember the reports surfacing that Iran was going to be putting ships, equipped with long range missiles, just outside America’s maritime borders to intimidate us?

Not that it worked, because, in the words of one of the comments on an article from that day “They would fry their own equipment”. I mean, it’s Iran. The idea that any of their missiles would actually hit us or that their ships could even make the trip and set up some sort of Flotilla, as the Iranian Navy commander, Admiral Habibollah Sayari, called it back then, is just about as laughable as the plot of the new Red Dawn movie.*

But the viability of their plan isn’t why I’m reminding everyone of this.

I’m reminding them of this, because Obama seems hellbent on being Ahmadinejad being his new best friend and organizing play dates between the United States and Iran, while he stops excepting Netanyahu’s calls and removes Israel from America’s friend’s list.

Israel has been our ally for a very long time, may I remind you.

Israel is one of the few countries in the Middle East who celebrates freedom, has equal rights for women and LGBT members of their society (while other countries strip women of their rights and strip LGBT people of their lives), and promotes freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

These are things that mirror American ideals. So why is our President cancelling meetings with Netanyahu and, instead, verbally getting cozy with Ahmadinejad, the leader of a country that has intentionally tried to militarily intimidate our country and doesn’t exactly mirror us in their view of freedoms.

In fact, they don’t have any respect for the freedoms we hold dear in our country, their constitution doesn’t even respect the sovereignty of other nations, because their intent is to put a one world ISLAMIC government in control.

Don’t believe me? Here’s part of their constitution’s preamble.

in accordance with the aims and aspirations set out above, with the hope that this century will witness the establishment of a universal holy government and the downfall of all others.

- based on a translation provided by the Iranian embassy in London

Where we have a Bill of Rights, even the preamble of their constitution goes against the very basic freedoms that America should be promoting.

Want some examples?**

WOMEN IN THE CONSTITUTION
In the creation of Islamic foundations, all the human forces which had been in the service of general foreign exploitation will recover their true identity and human rights. In doing so, women who have endured more tyranny up till now under the idolatrous order, will naturally vindicate their rights further.

Women were drawn away from the family unit and (put into) the condition of “being a mere thing”, or “being a mere tool for work” in the service of consumerism and exploitation. Re-assumption of the task of bringing up religiously-minded men and women, ready to work and fight together in life’s fields of activity, is a serious and precious duty of motherhood. And so acceptance of this responsibility as more serious and – from the Islamic point of view -a loftier ground for appreciation (lit: value) status (lit: greatness) will be forthcoming.

You know how feminist’s these days get so upset about women who ‘sell-out’ by choosing to stay home and be full-time mom’s and homemakers?

If Iran had their way that would be your ONLY option ladies.

Because having a life outside the home, having choices, that’s EXPLOITATION. No, your real freedom comes from being coerced into being a housewife with no rights outside those that your husband gives you.

THE RELIGIOUS ARMY
In the organization and equipping of the countries defense forces, there must be regard for faith and religion as their basis and rules. And so the Islamic Republic’s army, and the corps of Revolutionary Guards must be organized in accordance with this aim. They have responsibility not only for the safeguarding of the frontiers, but also for a religious mission, which is Holy War (JIHAD) along the way of God, and the struggle to extend the supremacy of God’s Law in the world.

“Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of God and your enemies, and others beside”.
Quotation from the Arabic

Jihad, extend the supremacy of God’s (Allah’s) Law in the world, religious mission, strike terror into the heart of the enemies of your God (which would be anyone who doesn’t follow their God, fyi).

THE JUDICIARY OF THE CONSTITUTION

Thus provision must be made for the establishment of a judicial system on the basis of Islamic justice, manned by just judges, well acquainted with the exact rules of the Islamic code.

Sharia Law anyone? Sounds lovely.

THE PUBLIC MEDIA
The public media (radio-television) must take their place in the process of development of the Islamic revolution, and must serve in the propagation of Islamic culture. In this sphere they must look for opportunities for a healthy exchange of differing ideas, and must rigorously refrain from the propagation and encouragement of destructive and anti-Islamic qualities (ideas).

Freedom of the press? Not so much.

Yeah, that seems like a good country to be allying ourselves with.

Great job Obama.

Great job liberals.

I think they’ve lost the plot, maybe we all have, but I’m here to help you find it again.

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*who thought that implying North Korea could invade America was even a plausible plot? Seriously. They should have kept the plot they originally, wrote. At least China has the numbers to attempt an invasion.

** All examples come from the Iran Chamber Society.

The Conservative New Ager and The Snark Who Hunts Back Review The Dark Knight Rises: A Tale of Heroes, Politics and Death

This last week we (The Snark Who Hunts Back and The Conservative New Ager) went to go see The Dark Knight Rises together for the second time (the first being a trilogy marathon on opening night). We delayed writing a blog then because it became obvious there was so much we would have to see it again to fully appreciate the depth…and even on a second viewing we realized there is more than a single blog here.

But let’s get the overture out of the way. The final piece of this spectacular trilogy, like almost all of director Christopher Nolan’s recent work is thematically based off a work of literature…A Tale of Two Cities, in the case of The Dark Knight Rises. And while it might be hard to find the undercurrents of Othello in The Dark Knight, Faust in The Prestige, or Zorro in Batman Begins (which for symmetry should be renamed The Dark Knight Begins).

But it’s not just literary, it’s political…or at least it appears to be. The Dark Knight seemed pretty obviously a defense of the War on Terror, and The Dark Knight Rises seems a pretty striking assault on the morals of leftist economics. Now Nolan claims that his works aren’t political (a common defense by those who want to survive in a hostile political environment) and Occupy Wall Street thugs think they’re really smart in pointing out that the movie was written before OWS so it can’t be about them (this poor argument ignores that their rhetoric of evil has been spouted by the left quite vehemently in the last few years and also they clearly are so ignorant of the history of their own ideas that they don’t know their filth was spouted by demagogues in ancient Athens, and shown to be stupid then…so just because Nolan didn’t know about OWS doesn’t mean he wasn’t responding to the evil)…and even if Nolan is telling the truth that he didn’t intend it to a political statement (which I doubt) it works too well as one not to make some comments about the philosophy of the work.

Now ignoring the message of the trilogy taken as a whole (that’s another blog for another time) we think there are three main philosophical statements to this film: The nature of heroism, the politics of progressivism, envy and “social justice”, and the fear of death.

The Nature of the Hero

“A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat over a little boy’s shoulder to let him know the world hadn’t ended.”

One of the more unbelievable complaints I’ve heard about The Dark Knight Rises was that it made it look like the common man can’t do anything for themselves, that they need the rich to save them. Never mind the fact that, by the end, Bruce Wayne barely had a cent to his name or that his money certainly didn’t help him climb out of the pit. We would just want to know if the person who made the complaint was even watching the same movie that we saw with our friends.

Not long after Bruce Wayne loses all his money, due to Bane’s attack on the stock exchange, he has a conversation with John Blake, a police officer who knows Wayne’s identity as Batman. Wayne tells Blake that the whole point of Batman was that he could be anyone, Batman was meant to be an inspiration to the people of Gotham, something that is repeated in both of the previous movies.

In Batman Begins Bruce Wayne tell Alfred:

“People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy. And I can’t do that as Bruce Wayne. As a man I’m just flesh and blood, I can be ignored, destroyed. But a symbol….as a symbol I can be incorruptible, everlasting…..”

In The Dark Knight, the Joker asks the fake Batman, Brian what batman means to him. Brian answers “He’s a symbol … that we don’t have to be afraid of scum like you”. And the whole point of Batman, as we see come to fruition at the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises, was not to create a legion of caped crusaders, but an army of men like Harvey Dent (before his psychotic break) and Jim Gordon—a group of people willing to stand up for what is right.

But we digress. The point is what made the average person a hero in The Dark Knight Rises.

At no point did John Blake, Commissioner Gordon, or the other members of the resistance, sit down and go ‘well, I’m just a common person, I’m just going to wait for the government or Batman to come save us’ (except for the character of Foley, who was rightly called out for being a coward). They worked tirelessly to find a way out on their own, they realized they were on their own the moment Bane took over the city and began to look for ways to free the city’s police force from the sewers.

When Batman did come back, in an a miraculous 11th hour miracle, they didn’t wait for him to clean up the mess. The police banded together and marched on Bane’s army, many of them dying in the fighting to save their city.

Selina Kyle, despite telling Batman that she was leaving the city as soon as she destroyed the debris blocking the tunnel, turned around and risked her life to fight for the city and to save Batman’s life.

Lucius Fox risked death and drowning , trying to find a way to stop the nuclear bomb from detonating.

Even Ra’s al Ghul (don’t you hate it when you agree with the words, if not the actions, of a villain?) says, during Bruce’s training, “The training is nothing! The will is everything! The will to act.”

The heroes who kept Gotham alive while Batman fought his way out of the pit

Every one of these people, training or no, had the will to act. They were all willing to give everything for their city, for their freedom. What could possibly be more heroic than that?

Fancy toys, nice cars, and a cool suit will only get you so far if you don’t have the will to do what is necessary, even when what is necessary may end your life.

Heroism isn’t about money, toys, or good looks; it’s a state of mind and living life, not with no fear of death, but with a willingness to die to defend others and defend your beliefs.

You may not be a superhero, but anyone can be a hero. That’s what The Dark Knight Rises shows us about heroism.

Politics, Socialism and evils of envy

“Repression is the only lasting philosophy. The dark deference of fear and slavery, my friend, will keep the dogs obedient to the whip, as long as this roof shuts out the sky.’”—A Tale of Two Cities*

You would have to have been pretty dense not to get that this movie was thematically inspired by A Tale of Two Cities. Even Dickens, for all of his sickeningly naïve progressive rhetoric, had an inkling of the evil of the French Revolution. A quick review of history if it’s been too long since that high school history class. Louis XVI in response to economic woes and civil unrest had given the public everything they wanted: an assembly, power of due process of law, and abdicated much of the absolute power of the monarchy. And while many where happy with these changes, the ignorant rabble who were open to the rhetoric of the most extreme thought it wasn’t enough. They stormed the Bastille, arrested Louis and his wife (who if you actually study history was not the vapid slut a layman’s understand of history tries to depict her as), and placed power in the hands of radicals like Robespierre and Marat. The Terror, Madam Guillotine, rivers of blood, atrocities on a scale that wouldn’t be seen again in France until the Nazi’s allowed the French to revel in their anti-Semitism. (A similar pattern would be seen when the Russians replaced the Tsar with a democratic government…but soon got rid of that in favor of a psychotically evil government).

She learned to hate her “ideal” world quickly enough.

This history lesson is important because this is the same pattern Nolan shows in Gotham. For all of it’s corruption in the first two films, Gotham at the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises was a city that had everything it wanted: Clean streets, an efficient police force (a city of 12 million with only 3,000 uniformed officers means an obscenely low crime rate), a healthy economy (the city could afford multiple simultaneous construction projects by Dagget, that means an incredibly good tax base, ergo strong economy…and football stadiums aren’t packed to the brim with every last seat filled during hard times), a mayor who has survived for over 8 years in office (usually a sign of prosperity) Even Selina Kyle’s words of decrying inequality ring hollow, he “old town” (suggestive of the gutter) apartment is hardly a shabby SRO or the slum heap of “the narrows” from the first film—and while in Batman Begins criminals could carry on with their nefarious dealings out in the open, or hide them in the vast slums, this is a Gotham where there are so few places to hide your activities you literally have skulk in the sewers (everywhere else is too bright and too well off to hide such activities)…Like the French they had everything they had asked for. And, like France, it took only a little fear and few mad men to stir the lowest rungs of society and bring about anarchy.
There are of course differences between A Tale of Two Cities and the Revolution it describes and the events of The Dark Knight Rises. The Bastille was stormed not to free prisoners (there were hardly any left in the Bastille by the time of the Revolution) but to gain weapons to take over the city. And even if you buy the myth of the Storming of the Bastille, the prisoners released from the Bastille were primarily political prisoners…not hardened thugs of organized crime. The fact that the Dent Law in The Dark Knight Rises was passed because there was a martyr to push through the law, does not change the fact that it, like all three-strikes laws and mandatory sentencing laws, are a particular point of hatred for the progressive who think it’s unfair that people who do evil and horrific things should, heaven forbid, be locked up where they can’t do any harm. But be it the Bastille and the release of a mere seven political prisoners or the opening of Blackgate Prison and letting a host of violent criminals go free, the result was ironically the same: The Terror.

The terror: a system where justice and trials are a mockery and the innocent are held as guilty for crimes they never committed…and where there is only one punishment: death. The terror, a system that provides so much that it makes everyone so equal that they are all starving and tearing at each other for daily sustenance (or like the Soviet Union or Gotham you could have food imported from the capitalistic society because you can’t produce any on your own). The terror: the utopia every half brained progressive idealist praises, only to lead to their own downfall.

In the real French Revolution the villain was Robespierre who used high rhetoric to justify rank thugery as a progressive march to fraternity and equality. In A Tale of Two Cities the villain was Madame De Farge, a woman so hell bent on avenging her family’s murders that she will see the whole world burn to get her pound of flesh. Nolan gives us both villains in the form of Bane and Talia al Ghul. Which of course leads us into the villainy of their perverse understanding of economics.

Let me spout the politics of envy and class warfare knowing it will only lead to your eventual destruction!

Before we get into showing how Nolan destroys the ideals of progressivism by showing what it brings, let’s dismiss one semi-intelligent objection: Bane and Talia don’t believe in progressivism, they’re trying to show how it is a failed system and how people must reject it. That’s not entirely an incorrect point…but what you need to also realize is that just because the villains may be a tool they don’t really believe in doesn’t mean that it isn’t showing the flaws of progressivism…and that just because they don’t believe in progressivism doesn’t mean they’re capitalist. Point in fact, the entire League of Shadows from Ra’s Al Ghul’s first words to Talia’s last is a world view based on feudalism and cronyism. The League believes it should be the one who decides who shall be successful and who shall fail. Bane says as much when he tells Wayne, “I learned here that there can be no true despair without hope. So, as I terrorize Gotham, I will feed its people hope to poison their souls. I will let them believe they can survive so that you can watch them clamoring over each other to “stay in the sun.” You can watch me torture an entire city and when you have truly understood the depth of your failure, we will fulfill Ra’s al Ghul’s destiny… We will destroy Gotham and then, when it is done and Gotham is ashes, then you have my permission to die.” As we stated above they rule through terror, not reason, not ethics, not law, justice—they dress their words up in the clothes of these higher ideals but their actions show them to be as hollow and lacking in substance on the inside as any scarecrow (especially if said Scarecrow sets himself up as the instrument of justice).

Politically speaking, there is much that is applicable to our current political situation in our country. Now, to be fair, I don’t believe that Christopher Nolan’s intent was to create a modern political allegory. This movie was written and being filmed long before the Occupy Wall Street movement, which shares many of the villains sentiments, began.

During the first few weeks of the Occupy movement we both remember having many conversations about the similarities between that movement and the early days of the French Revolution. Which is why the connection between The Dark Knight Rises and OWS comes so easily.

The views of Occupy Wall Street were shown almost perfectly in Bane’s and Catwoman’s words, as well as the actions of the people who jump at the chance to drag the rich out and punish them for their success.

Bane’s entire speech outside of Black Gate Prison is so reminiscent of something from a ‘mic check’ at Occupy Wall Street

“We take power from the corrupt, who, for generations, have kept you down with myths of…opportunity and we give it back to you, the people. Gotham is yours, none shall interfere, do as you please. We’ll start by storming Black Gate and freeing the oppressed…an army will be raised, the powerful will be ripped from their decadence and cast out into the cold where we all have endured, courts will be convened, spoils will be enjoyed…”

-Bane (apologies for mistakes, I was working from a VERY scratchy audio clip)

and for those of you who remember the scenes that accompanied the final lines of that speech, the violence is so similar to the rioting at Occupy Oakland that is was almost frightening, especially when you realize that this movie was written months before any of that every happened.

Selina Kyle (Catwoman) starts out with the same exact rhetoric as many an Occupy Wall Street supporter. In a conversation with Bruce Wayne she says “You think this is gonna last? There’s a storm coming Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches. ‘Cause when it hits, you’re all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large, and leave so little for the rest of us.”

Though after her betrayal of Batman she appears to change her tone in a way that OWS never did. Upon entering a home that had been ransacked after Bane’s Black Gate speech she comments on the fact that ‘this used to be someone’s home’ when she looks at a smashed family photo. Her friend says ‘now it’s everyone’s home.’ Kyle, unlike just about everyone in OWS who only has to look to the failure of the Soviet Union, the collapse of Greece or the repression of China and North Korea to know what a failed system socialism, when she saw what her ideals brought about very quickly had no problem seeing their evil and abandoning them.

The Dark Knight Rises shows what happens when give us capitalisms for anarchy or socialism. You have perversion of justice. You have to survive on the handouts and scraps provided to you. There is no growth. No prosperity. No civilization. Only blood and the terror.

Now on to a slightly more hilarious turn of events.

Shortly before the movie came out the Obama campaign (and liberals in general) noticed something they thought they could use as a brilliant attack against Romney.

Did you know that Romney had a business named Bain Capital?

Bain/Bane…get it?**

One of these guys is someone rich who could easily leave others to fend for themselves but doesn’t…the other is named Bane. Which one reminds you the most of the presidential challenger?

“It has been observed that movies can reflect the national mood,” said Democratic advisor and former Clinton aide Christopher Lehane. “Whether it is spelled Bain and being put out by the Obama campaign or Bane and being out by Hollywood, the narratives are similar: a highly intelligent villain with offshore interests and a past both are seeking to cover up who had a powerful father and is set on pillaging society,” he added.

As the Friday release date has neared, liberal blogs were the first to connect Batman’s toughest foe with Romney’s firm.

- Christopher Lehane (via Washington Examiner)

Yeah, they actually did that.

Hilariously, when Rush Limbaugh dared to point out the name similarities, liberal bloggers thought he was being insane and completely ignored that their side was the one who made the comparison first.

Luckily conservatives had a fellow conservative Chuck Dixon, comic book creator, and coincidentally, the co-creator of the villain Bane, to smack some sense into liberals.

In an interview with ComicBook.com Dixon had this to say.

“The idea that there’s some kind of liberal agenda behind the use of Bane in the new movie is silly…I refuted this within hours of the article in the Washington Examiner suggesting that Bane would be tied to Bain Capital and Mitt Romney appearing. Bane was created by me and Graham Nolan and we are lifelong conservatives and as far from left-wing mouthpieces as you are likely to find in comics…As for his appearance in The Dark Knight Rises, Bane is a force for evil and the destruction of the status quo. He’s far more akin to an Occupy Wall Street type if you’re looking to cast him politically. And if there ever was a Bruce Wayne running for the White House it would have to be Romney.”

-Chuck Dixon (Via ComicBook.com)

Romney is Bruce Wayne? That’s the best pseudo-endorsement I’ve heard all year. If I wasn’t voting for Romney before, I sure am now.

The Fear of Death

Blind Prisoner: You do not fear death. You think this makes you strong. It makes you weak.
Bruce Wayne: Why?
Blind Prisoner: How can you move faster than possible, fight longer than possible without the most powerful impulse of the spirit: the fear of death.
Bruce Wayne: I do fear death. I fear dying in here, while my city burns, and there’s no one there to save it.
Blind Prisoner: Then make the climb.
Bruce Wayne: How?
Blind Prisoner: As the child did. Without the rope. Then fear will find you again.

Now on the Conservative New Ager we have a fairly low opinion of the fear of death. In numerous blogs it has been ridiculed as the foolish, childish, ignorant paralytic it is. However, it must be admitted, that in the rush of these blogs to point out that “Wise men at their end know [death] is right” and that it is nothing to be feared but merely a natural part of life, that the wise also “do not go gentle into that good night.”

Bruce Wayne doesn’t fear death for the first half of the movie, that is true. He is not hindered by the fears that he once was. The problem is that in this attempt to rid himself of fear he went too far and rid himself of the desire for life as well. While the movie only uses the phrase “fear death” it might seem that it is encouraging people to embrace fear. But from context the movie is not telling people to embrace the paralyzing fear of death because it is this fear that encourages the federal government and the people of Gotham to stand ideally by, and the fear that causes Modine’s Foley to hide, while a terrorist takes over the city. Rather, the movie is encouraging a balance—that the proper way is to rid one’s self of the paralyzing fear of death of Wayne did in the first film, but to maintain the love of live, and the appreciation of death and knowledge that each moment could be your last and must be fought for, that comes with this love of life. It is only this appreciation of death, that pushes Wayne to make a jump that he could not otherwise make, because he knows that if he is to live he must push himself—and he cannot push himself without both the knowledge that there is no turning back or without the desire to do something other than seek his own end.

And then of course, as a final thought we can’t forget how wonderfully patriotic this film is. Okay maybe not so much in it showing the President to be a sniveling coward who gives into terrorist demands (patriotic or not that might be an accurate assessment)…or in how cowardly the bureaucracy is when they blow the bridge condemning many to die (again might be an accurate conservative message). But you will notice that the people of Gotham (not the scum the who follow Bain mind you, but the people who are terrorized by them) stand for “The Star Spangled Banner” and the only person shown to not have his hand over his heart is the scummy mayor (who apparently is close to an even scummier Congressmen…again perhaps an accurate assessment of current events). And along with the police it is these people who fight against Bain. And you’ll notice that on the day of the battle even a British director like Nolan knows to show the tattered remains of the flag still flying, still offering hope, and as a symbol that on that day evil will fall. Finally the last words about Gotham, which they say is America’s greatest city, is that it will rise from the ashes of this act of terrorism…you would have to be pretty dense not to see this as a reference to New York, and a testament to how quickly America did pick itself up.

You don’t owe these people anymore. You’ve given them everything.

Not everything. Not Yet.

And the sad fact is that we’ve only scratched the surface of this film…

*On a side note, it should be said that, for all of Dickens’ flaws, A Tale of Two Cities is Dickens’ best work…too bad he stole half the plot from Victor Hugo’s Ninety-Three.

** Oh and if you want to to play the silly let’s compare political figures to fictional ones…I see your Bane/Bain…and raise you…

 

(Romney Ryan photos thanks to Heather Parsons)

Please press #1 to heap verbal abuse on customer service until upper management decides to get involved.

I had an interesting day today, dealing with financial aid at my university. Honestly this debacle has been weeks in the making and I won’t bore you with endless back story, I’ll try to just give you the major points.

Because of being under the age of 24 (despite having filed my taxes as a single independent for the last two years, supporting myself financially, not having insurance through my parents, and living alone for the past two years as well) for some reason the FAFSA considers me a dependent when it comes to financial aid.

My initial argument with my financial aid department revolved around the fact that, legally, FAFSA is asking me to commit fraud against the federal government, because I’m filing as an independent with the IRS (and no one wants to screw around with the IRS) but filing as a dependent for financial aid services with my school. How does this sound reasonable at all?

Finally I was told that I could submit a dependency review. Two pieces of paper from the school and 3 letters (1 from me and 2 from people not related to me) talking about my current and past relationship with my parents. To prove that I’m an independent.

So I filled out the form, I got a former teacher who I still talk with to write a letter, as well as my friend Robert. I didn’t think there would be ANY possible problem, because (aside from a short few days after I had a lumbar puncture, I haven’t lived with my parents full time (not counting vacations like Thanksgiving and Christmas when I visited) in over two years.

After being jerked around with lost paperwork and incompetent people all over the place…my file finally made it to a financial aid counselor (who I never met, because they keep their offices hidden behind locked doors and work/study peons). What happened?

It was denied.

I got a call from one of those peons I just mentioned and I refused to talk to them. I told them to find me someone who knew what they were talking about and get THEM on the phone, because I refused to ask my questions through a 3rd party and sit on hold for 10 minutes to get an unsatisfactory answer to each one.

I may have raised my voice.

But it’s the only way to get anyone on that level to pass you on to the next person. They have CREATED a system in which, the only way to talk to the people in charge, is to verbally abuse their office workers.

I got passed to a financial aid specialist. Who I argued with for 10 minutes before finding out that SHE wasn’t the woman who had looked at my dependency review either. I told her she needed to pass me to someone who had actually looked at my review and who could actually make executive decisions.

It may have taken some level of shouting and verbal abuse and threats that the college wouldn’t receive ‘ONE GODDAMN PENNY FROM ME OR ON MY BEHALF’ if someone didn’t solve the situation to my satisfaction.

I fully believe that I was channeling 2 parts Ann Coulter and 1 part my own mother at the time.

Now I’m talking to a financial aid counselor…25 minutes after the beginning of the phone call. Half of which was me being on hold, by the way.

Now we get down to the meat of the issue and the most outrageous and incomprehensible conversation I have ever had.

Gabby, full first name Gabriella, tells me that the federal government doesn’t care that I’ve supported myself financial for the past 2 years or that I don’t live with my parents or that they don’t pay for my college education at all.

Her exact words were ‘financial independence doesn’t qualify you as independent’.

Huh?

Wanting to know if SHE at least knows how batshit crazy that sounds. I ask her “could you please tell me what your PERSONAL opinion this is. Please let me know that SOMEONE here understands how insane that sounds”.

No surprise that she wouldn’t give me an answer.

I ask her what WOULD qualify me as an independent. She tells me that I would need documentation from a teacher/clergy member/counselor/police officer of ‘abuse, neglect, or abandonment’.

I kindly inform her that, per federal law, since I moved out after the age of 18 and any difficulties with my parents occurred after that, that I could not legally be the victim of neglect or abandonment and that I also can’t claim abuse, because I’m over the age of 18.

She had no answer for that either.

I asked her to give me a reasoning for why I’m forced into filing as a dependent in the first place.

She told me it was because current federal law allows me to remain on my parents insurance until I’m 24 (my parent’s don’t provide me insurance, they don’t have insurance, so this doesn’t apply…something I told the financial aid department on my dependency review) so unless I’ve been abused or neglected they can’t consider me independent.

Now this next part is the part you really need to listen too.

being that I know some of the coming consequences of Obamacare, and I know that one of them is the ability to stay on your parents insurance until the age of 26, I asked the, very flustered, financial aid counselor a question that she probably didn’t mean to answer.

Me: So does that mean that next year, when Obamacare goes into effect, the age that it takes to become an ‘independent’ in the eyes of the federal government and FAFSA will be 26?

FinAid counselor: Well yes!

So there you have it, this was a long post just to get to this main point. However, I wanted people to understand the backwards thought processes these people operate under.

Live by yourself, make your own money, support yourself, haven’t relied on your parents in 2, 3, 4, years?

Doesn’t matter.

You’re still dependent on them.

Because the federal government is run by incompetents.

No surprise there I guess.

Also, that’s the news no one is talking about when it comes to Obamacare and financial aid. Every moment of Obama’s reign, every decision made, can be traced to one final ending.

Keep people children, keep people dependent, keep them jumping through our hoops and thinking that their only option is to be reliant on us. The more they lean on the government, the more they feel like children, the more rights they will let us take away in the name of ‘supporting them’ and ‘taking care of them’.

That’s what people are missing here. This isn’t about insurance or federal loans. This is about making us into children, with no support system. We can’t let that happen.