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.

Red Dawn, 2012

I finally got a chance to see this movie a week after it opened in theaters. I can’t tell you how excited I was to finally be walking into a theater, full of people for a 10:45am showing, to watch a pro-America film.

As The Conservative New Ager said to me “Red Dawn, a great patriotic film that understands that the only good socialist is a dead one.”

The first Red Dawn, I think we can all agree, was a crappy movie. That didn’t matter though, it’s still a classic, because those that love America will love that movie, just for the common thread of American Patriotism that runs through the movie.

This version of Red Dawn is much better quality than the original and has a much tighter plot line and, despite receiving terrible reviews (11% by critics on Rotten Tomatoes) it is making much better tracks with the audiences (63% on Rotten Tomatoes and not doing too shabbily at the box office), and that is also because it contains that thread of American Patriotism that those that love this country have been looking for in Hollywood these days.

The opening is done fantastically and you will likely be laughing through the whole thing as it plays through some real headlines and actual clips of Obama, Hillary, and our homeboy Joe, talking about North Korea.

The movie refuses to humanize the North Koreans to us at all, which is preferable. These are, after all, invaders into our country. I don’t really care how nice they are to their wife, kids, or pet dog, they are an enemy whose has no right to be where they are.

And there are a few other moments in the movie that are completely unexpected, but beautifully directed and scripted, but I won’t mention them. Those are NOT moments you want spoiled for you.

If you love America, you will love this movie. If you just want to watching some explosions, you will still love this movie. Basically, you will love this movie.

Go see it.

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.

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)

Remember my disgust over the ban on large sodas in New York City?

When I wrote this post?

 

Yeah, turns out the citizens of New York City are just as disgusted as me. Which is wonderful.

New Yorkers opposed to the Bloomberg administration’s proposed soda ban announced today that they will be gathering for a “Million Big Gulp March” at City Hall Park on Monday in protest of the mayor’s latest crackdown on large drinks.

The event will feature speakers including Dan Halloran, New York City Councilman and congressional candidate in the 6th district, City Councilwoman Letita James, renowned investor and news contributor Peter Schiff of EuroPacific Capital, and several other notable politicians and community activists.

“New Yorkers are seeking answers other than ‘more government’ when it comes to solving issues easily remedied by self-responsibility.  The ‘Million Big Gulp March’ is about more than just the size of drinks, it is our long-overdue response to a governing ideology that thinks it can tell us what fat we can cook with, how much popcorn we can buy, whether we can use table salt, or even how much water we can bathe with and use in each flush.  It’s astonishing to see a pro-choice mayor be so anti-choice when it comes to such trivial personal decisions.

“It’s high time we stop the nanny-government invading our kitchens, restaurants, movie theaters and bathrooms, and instead use our limited tax and police resources on real crime.  We, as individuals, can educate ourselves and eat healthfully on our own, showing Mayor Bloomberg that New Yorkers can take care of themselves,” stated Zach Huff, NYC Liberty HQ’s “Million Big Gulp March” Spokesman.

- LiPolitics.com

I’ve got nothing else to add.

Just glad to see that there are actually people with brains in NYC still.

Now I’ll just go back to getting a fatwah declared on me by pissing off supporters of Palestine, inadvertently, on Tumblr.

 

A tribute to Peter Singer /sarcasm

The Conservative New Ager pointed out to me that today is my favorite*philosopher’s birthday.

Peter Singer was born on July 6th, 1946 and on that day decided to never use his brain and went into working in “applied ethics” and espousing the ideas of utilitarianism, a philosophy that makes me want to punch things because it’s just that stupid.

A little less than a year ago, I embarked on a 5 piece blog that tore apart the rhetoric of one of his most famous and popular essays.** The name of which was entitled The Singer Solution to World Poverty and was written in 1999.

As a special gift to him, I am going to remind my readers of how idiotic he is.

Have fun!

Peter Singer’s Solution for World Poverty has more philosophical and logical holes than a seive.

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

*Sarcasm!

**So famous and popular, in fact, that I had never heard of it until my English 105 professor assigned an essay on it. …more sarcasm!

Oh Julia, what a poor martyr you make.

My friend over at The Conservative New Ager has done an immensely fantastic job of ripping one of the Obama campaign’s latest attacks against Romney, The Life of Julia, to ribbons.

Check the series out here.

The Sad Life of Julia Part I

The Sad Life of Julia Part II: The teen years

The Sad Life of Julia Part III–The wacky college years

The Sad Life of Julia Part IV

The Sad Life of Julia Part V: Middle Age Dependency

The Sad Life of Julia Part VI:The Twilight of a Moocher

 

Of course, if you have an incredibly short attention span, there is a shorter and less witty version at thelifeofjulia.com

 

I don’t want to be Julia, nor should any other woman. The incredibly sexist tone of this add should not help Obama gain female votes. Just as Andrea Tantaros says on Cavuto in this video. (Apologies for the bad quality, it was the only online version of the interview I could find.)

I don’t like the future dependency on the government that the Obama administration wants for this country and I don’t think I would like any person, Julia or otherwise, who allowed themselves to be suckered into living in this sort of world.

Hey Romney, I can’t understand why young Americans would vote for Barack Obama either.

Daniel Blatt, over at Gay Patriot, posted this video.

The first thing I will mention is that it’s moments of this type, the no non-sense “what are you thinking?” “sorry if I’m offending you, but” sort of attitude, that really re-affirm my decision to support him in the primary and the upcoming election. (Because, please, we all know he’s going to get the nomination.)

Secondly, he’s absolutely right.

Money doesn’t grow on trees. (Seriously, it doesn’t. Even the material isn’t paper, it’s made from a blend of cotton and linen.)

So what is my generation expecting? That all of these programs and plans for our parents (and grandparents) generation are going to remain for our generation? So we will continue to rack up trillions of dollars of deficit, continue borrowing from China (thanks to Castle for pointing out, this season, how that could go HORRIBLY AWFULLY wrong at the drop of a hat.), just so we can let the government form a cradle to grave mentality?

Higher taxes won’t fix this. (We could confiscate the wealth of every “rich” person in this country and it still wouldn’t make a dent in our current deficit, not the mention the continued spending and the programs that my generation [hello there Sandra Fluke] would like to institute.)

More regulation won’t fix this. (Guess what happens then, the companies go somewhere else and make some other country successful.)

The only thing that will fix this is to cut spending and re-evaluate why so many people in my generation (and others) are shouting “please will you fix it for me?”* to the government.

This is NOT the country our founding fathers wanted.

 

 

*if you get that reference you win a cookie.

Thursday has been a let down really.

Last night my school’s server was hacked and as a result my first class of the day, Politics and Government (which is my favorite class), was cancelled. Of course I didn’t find that out until I got there, since the server is down and none of the teachers can send emails out to their students. So I got there, the professor apologized for having to cancel class because her lecture for today was stored on the server instead of on her own personal jump drive.

So it was a disappointing beginning to my day…a very long day since I am not leaving campus until 10pm..I have an astronomy lab in about 3 hours. A lab that is over 2 hours long. Ugh. So tired! I’m ingesting large amounts of sugar and caffeine over the next few hours so that I can stay awake in class.

Anyway, my next class was not cancelled and here are a few highlights from today’s lecture.

First the class started out with the teacher making fun of the Tea Party. (Not the historical one in Boston, the current Tea Party…just to clarify.) Making fun of their tri-corn hats (I want one of those!), their revolutionary war era outfits (these also look fun), and the fact that, according to him, they only have legitimacy as a political movement because they “romanticize the history of democracy”.

I find that a bit insulting really.

I also wanted to ask him if he believed that Occupy Wall Street had political legitimacy by stomping all over the constitution and what he thought about them defecating on cars and destroying private property.

I didn’t though.

We discussed the history of Democratization in the world, including Samuel Huntington’s description of Democratization as coming in waves. It’s an interesting concept that I think could apply to any number of civil rights movements over the decades as well. In everything from African American, to gay rights. Everything comes in waves that advance and recede over the years, but the tide keeps getting higher and the waves recede a little less each time.

These things take time. I fully believe, in my romantic view of democracy, that eventually democracies will be in every country in the world. We see it happening every day, even if some of the attempts in the last decade or so have gone a bit pear shaped. (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, etc.)

 

 

He compared Jim Crow laws to Apartheid. Tiny bit of a stretch there I think.

 

 

In the last part of class we discussed the Weimar Republic of Germany, which lasted from 1919 to 1933 before failing completely.

The words from the powerpoint were “from the outset it was beset with problems which led to the eventually collapse of a democratic nation”. Then he asked “if it happened there, could it happen here?”

Maybe it’s my bias, but I think he sounded a bit gleeful at the prospect.

However, I was considering this over lunch and came to the conclusion that the situation in the Weimar Republic was a bit different than ours here in America.

After all they were a fairly new democracy, we are not, which was on shaky legs because of a bad economy caused by exorbitant war reparations, that was in a state of national despair and looking for a leader to find someone to blame for the horrible situation they were in and promise a quick fix to the problem and give them someone to blame.

Wait…

Bad economy, check, charismatic leader, check (at least he thinks so), quick fix to the economic situation (bailouts), and a boogeyman to blame for all our problems (the rich)….

umm….

help….?