Monthly Archives: August 2012

Ramblings of Conservative Cathy: Nothing wrong with America

There is a concept/idea out there that there is something wrong with being proud of America. I am often confused by this. I would like any one to name just one country, culture or civilization, which has not made mistakes. I think the involvement of humans makes that inevitable.

My question to those who find it so contemptible to honor America is to also name one country, culture or civilization who has brought so much improvement to every other country in the world as America has done through its free market/ capitalistic approach to economics and God-granted inherent freedom approach to civilization.

American culture/beliefs are the reason there is a middle class for politicians to discuss. Although I can agree with distaste to many of the results of our interventions, I think most often the intent was correct/moral just not the follow through.

You can always critique anything and everything but for true progress and improvement you must build on the good and promote the good, correct and learn from the mistakes but never dwell on them.

Leave a comment

Filed under American Exceptionalism

Highlights from Day 3 of the Republican National Convention

There were some low points…why dwell…

The High Points:
Ladies and Gentlemen the Next President of the United States, a man everyone is calling Reaganesque

The Outlaw J….Dirty H…Clint Eastwood…and a stand in for Obama (which was actually more intelligent than the real thing)

And forgetting that little flub at the end a great speech from Rubio

“We chose more freedom instead of more government.”

Even liberal Democrats love this man

A look at Mitt’s Life

More about Mitt

Discussion of Mitt’s Character


Leave a comment

Filed under American Exceptionalism, Budget, Capitalism, character, Charity, Civil Liberties, Conservative, Constitution, Economics, Education, Election 2012, Equality, Evils of Liberalism, Faith, Free Will, GOP, Government is useless, Individualism, Long Term Thinking, Mitt Romney, Obama, Patriotism, Paul Ryan, philosophy, politics, Ronald Reagan, Taxes

Highlights from Day 2 of the Republican National Convention

More high points and low.

The low…why does anyone let Rick Santorum speak, ever, for any reason?…given the depth of his intellect it constantly surprises me that he manages to not drool on himself (but then again brain dead Biden manages not to soil himself on a daily basis an this too is an amazing accomplishment when you consider how dumb he really is). The media response to the convention is pathetic and disgusting…but what can you expect.

The high points:

The Vice President Paul Ryan

the great Condi Rice

the wonderful Nikki Haley


The sane one in the family, Rand Paul

Leave a comment

Filed under American Exceptionalism, Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Congress, Conservative, Constitution, Economics, Election 2012, Evils of Liberalism, Free Will, GOP, Happiness, Individualism, Long Term Thinking, Mitt Romney, Obama, Patriotism, Paul Ryan, politics, Ronald Reagan, Taxes, Tea Party

Highlights from Day 1 at the Republican National Convention

High points and low.

The low: That we had to start a day late.  That Paulbot threw yet another childish hissy fit (who cares they’re all liberals anyway). That a lot of our elected officials (McDonnell and Walker come to mind) are about as exciting as watching grass grow (even if they’re making sense in what they say).

The High:

Our next first lady

Gov. Christie tells it like it is

The great Mia Love

Sen Ayotte (she’s a little dull, but she’s clearly fighting off a cold)

Leave a comment

Filed under American Exceptionalism, Capitalism, Congress, Conservative, Constitution, Economics, Election 2012, Evils of Liberalism, Free Will, GOP, Individualism, Love, Mitt Romney, Obama, Patriotism, Paul Ryan, politics

Weekly Meditation: Live for yourself

A few weeks ago I saw the following on twitter:

And I realized that this was the perfect quote for a meditation.

We often worry too much about others.  I know society has made us think such a thought is anathema, but it isn’t.  Rational interest is not some evil, it is the middle ground we should all seek.  It is place between the two evils of hedonism (the denial of the rights, needs, and concern of others) and altruism (the denial of the rights, needs, and concern of self).  Rather it is the middle ground of rational self interest that say you should “love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

So this week you should consider yourself first.  Do what you want and don’t worry about if it annoys others.  Now don’t go out of your way to piss people off (that would still be letting them dictate your life, although with a slight amount of more pettiness*), just act like you would if they weren’t there.  Now if someone says that what you are doing is annoying them, then the polite thing is to reach a compromise…but your wants, your needs, your desires should be respected.  Do what you want to do.

The goal of life is to reach Happiness and Enlightenment and no one should harm you in your pursuit of those goal.  Those two goals should be your first concern (although you make sure you’re not harming anyone else on that trip).

Remember you’re a child of God, you have the right to do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else.

*Now if you do what you want, like say, write blogs about what you believe politically, and get enjoyment out of watching people who disagree with you get infuriated, bully for you.  But it should first and foremost be because you enjoy the writing and expression of ideas…not just solely to piss people off…unless you to make a larger argument and win people to your side is to show how foolishly your opposition reacts, but again your first purpose is to win the argument not to piss them off as an end itself.

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, Free Will, God, Happiness, Individualism, Karma, Love, Meditation, New Age, philosophy, Prayer, Purpose of Life, Religion, Selfishness, Solar Plexus Chakra Willpower

You Didn’t Built That Wit

Because it’s Friday…it’s been a long week, and we can always use a laugh…

As I continue to discuss Obama’s idiotic “You didn’t build that” statement, a statement that makes Biden look like a genius in comparison, I keep running across various humorous images.  Here are some of my favorites…

 

 

 

 

My favorite because I really believe this is how that worthless dimwit thinks of himself…


And a bit obscure, but it’s hilarious if you get it…

Leave a comment

Filed under Humor, Obama

Obama did say “You didn’t build that” and worse…Part II

“”They might be giants, and we might be pygmies; but we stand on the shoulders of giants, so we can see farther.” Attributed to Sir Isaac Newton

So just to be clear, Obama did say:

“If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.”

But why is this so bad?

It’s terrible because it shows us exactly what Obama thinks.  He thinks that without an activist government you cannot survive.  That without an activist government there is no progress.  That without an activist government there is no growth.

Intellectually, factually, morally and ethically he could not be more wrong.

Now some very, very stupid people trying to sound reasonable might say something like:

“Neither private sector nor public sector are sufficient. Both are necessary.”

Now in a grander sense, yes, this is true.  The necessary evil of government is necessary to provide a system of laws, a police and military force, and a court system for prosecution of crimes and arbitration of disagreements, a handful of various other services.  Not a single Classically Liberal or capitalist philosopher, be it Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, or F.A. Hayek, would ever argue that government is not necessary to a successfully run economy and society.  Capitalism is just as opposed to anarchy as it is to socialism and tyranny.  But every Classically Liberal and capitalistic philosopher will also point out that government’s function are there to provide rules, protect others from violence and fraud, serve as arbiter, and provide those few services that the private sector cannot easily provide.  And also, while many of them hadn’t seen the monster of an overgrown federal government, most would argue that where government does need to step in it should as locally controlled and locally funded as possible.

Now what is an example of a function that only the federal government can do.  Well you have the army and navy.  You have the post office in the early days of the Republic (although nowadays you could cut the Post Office down to 10% of it’s current size and FedEx, UPS, and local companies could more than pick up the slack at lower prices and higher efficiency).   I’m sure a private mail carrier could have made money in the early days of the Republic, but the Founding Fathers realized how useful the committees of correspondence were, and how communication is one of the most deadly tools against tyranny, and thus had to make sure there was always an option for communication that could not go bankrupt (as there exists with any private company)…which is also the reason I advocate drastically cutting the USPS but not completely destroying it.

But is infrastructure something that only the public sector can provide?

No it’s not.  And this is a self evident truth.  Governments were building infrastructure before they started using dimwitted Keynesian tactics of spending money they didn’t have.  Logically this meant that they were getting money from commerce to build infrastructure.  Commerce and business predated infrastructure, their success is not dependent on it…it is the reverse that is true, that infrastructure is dependent on business success.

Look at the entirety of U.S. history and you will see this.  In terms of transportation, stage coaches, ferries, and even railroads started out as private sector industries that did not have government funding (yes railroads became the transcontinental giants with government help…but they also became inefficient, monopolistic, corrupt and low quality when government money got involved).  Most of the infrastructure that raised Britain to an economic powerhouse in the Industrial Revolution was privately built.  I recall that a good portion of Hong Kong’s early infrastructure post-WWII was more privately funding by booming business more than by the hands off government of the colony.  Even in now uber-liberal California, we should all remember the completely private Red Car system provided efficient and cheap transportation (using it’s own infrastructure) to most of Southern California for nearly 4 decades before being taken over by the state.

Yes the interstate highway system is wonderful and has been a great boon to commerce…of course Ike built it as an easy way to move the military in the Cold War, the economic benefit was secondary so you don’t get to claim that it was built for the purpose of the economy.  However even if the highway system should have originally been a federal project to ensure that all states are connected…it no longer needs to be federal—at this point states are more than capable of up keep of their own roads as they need them to stay economically competitive (i.e. they won’t let them just fall apart) and the local control will keep overhead, graft, and inefficiency down (at least it will be far less than what a distant federal government would create).  So even the highway system isn’t an argument that Obama has.  Yes does the system of roads and bridges need work?  Yeah, it does.  Of course if it was such an important function why didn’t you get it done in the first 4 years Barry?  And why did you saddle the debts with such massive future debts via Obamacare so that they couldn’t deal with the problem themselves?

But maybe we’re not just talking about roads for infrastructure.  Electricity maybe?  No, that was originally built by private companies…and the modern government controlled national grid is such an unmitigated disaster that even liberal Thomas Friedman of the New York Times went off on what a joke it is in his book Hot, Flat, and Crowded.

Communication?  No.  Private company AT&T built the original infrastructure and controlled it so well that the government felt the need to unjustly break the company into the baby bells…which was really dumb because within only a few years the private built cell phone infrastructure made AT&T’s land-line infrastructure about as important as your appendix.

But the internet!  Oh I love this argument.  So the military builds a communication network and does nothing for over a decade (beside being a plot point in 2nd rate Matthew Broderick film…Shall we play a game?) and then private industry built on computers (which was also built on computers the government had been working on for years to no avail. Government had silicon chips since the 1960′s but it took a Steve Jobs to create the personal computer.) and suddenly makes use of it.  Trust me if the network the military (and Al Gore) built hadn’t been in existence there would have been some genius on par with Gates, Jobs or Ellison, who would have created a network that would have allowed computers to speak to each other easily.

Everyone seems to forget that the empty cities in China or Detroit have lots of infrastructure that does nothing for them.  However there are literally hundreds of towns  in this nation where a factory was built first and then the infrastructure and growth followed…if you look at the world and the joys of globalization and outsources (which makes life better both for America and the country work is being outsourced to) the examples reach thousands.  Business success always precedes infrastructure in a sane system.  To say the opposite is to say the cart pulls the horse.

The fact is that business has traditionally built the infrastructure it needs to grow if it is not already present.  Private companies wanted to build high speed rail back in the early 90’s but were stopped over and over again by environmental regulators in the government…and unlike the BS high speed rail Obama and California want to put in that doesn’t really go anywhere, the plans in the 90’s were for things like LA to Vegas…you know rail that would have paid for itself and paid for further expansion.

FedEx was stopped by government regulation and bickering from creating a second hub in its distribution infrastructure in the 90’s.

Private airlines where hampered in their growth early on by government regulation (usually taking off from fields that the airlines had built with their own money in the early days).

I could go on.

You would have to be a brainless troll or an idiot of the highest caliber to not see that industry builds the infrastructure it needs with its own money (often cheaper than the government) and has more often has had its growth hampered by government than it has been helped by it.

You can build all the infrastructure you want. It won’t create business.  It will help business…but it’s not like the business isn’t paying for that infrastructure (through income, corporate, sales, and a myriad of other taxes).  If the government doesn’t provide the infrastructure business will create it themselves or someone else will find some way to provide the service that infrastructure would provide, often at costs less than the inefficient government creation.  Government created infrastructure is never NECESSARY for business success.  Government laws and protection against harm are necessary, but not infrastructure.

Now some claim that we need government infrastructure to provide things like TVA giving electricity to rural communities…to which I respond, when did electricity become a right?  My grandparents lived quite contently in a house until the late 80’s, in California, without public electricity (they had a wind generator that they built)…it didn’t harm them.  If there is no economic reason to have electricity in an area, then it probably shouldn’t be there…and if you don’t like it, it’s a free country, move to an area that has those services or create a business that makes it feasible to bring those services out there.   Arguing we have to provide things to people where there is no financial reason to provide it to them is the mentality of building bridges to nowhere and repairing roads no one drives on it.  It is the mentality of government waste.  And that is the kind of infrastructure that Obama is touting…or do you think the man who thought Solyndra was a good idea knows more about infrastructure?

Everyone likes to point to highways, the internet, the advance of the space race….but everyone forgets these were military ventures with military goals, not economic ones (those were merely unintended side effects)—I bring this up because which area of spending do those who tout infrastructure call on most to be cut?*  And this leads to the reason why I have repeatedly said one of our biggest mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan was not spending more time on building infrastructure.  I wanted the communication and military benefits of modern infrastructure as a counter to the insurgency (which are getting their own benefits provided by other countries). Yes such projects put the cost of a system that would benefit commerce on those countries on the US taxpayer instead of the Iraq or Afghani businessman, but I believed in the long term the military benefit would pay for itself (if you think we’re not going to have to go back to Afghanistan within a generation because we botched it so badly this time, you’re crazy).

But back to Obama’s “You didn’t build that” quote.

In context he is referring to the businesses.  But even if you take his reading that it was government provided infrastructure you built your business on and you couldn’t have done it without that infrastructure…it’s still a bullshit statement.

With only a small exception in education, everyone has equal access to the benefits of infrastructure.  Everyone has access to the roads.  Everyone has access to the electric system and all the other utilities. From the things that only government can provide (police, courts, health control, an income safety net**) to those things that government and the private sector and justifiably provide (roads, schools, post service, electricity and water) to those things which the only private sector should be providing but the government can’t keep it’s stupid hands out (green energy, wifi, medical services) everybody pretty much has equal access to all of these benefits and all of this infrastructure.  And yet some build great businesses and some don’t.  Because some had the intelligence and the work ethic and the drive to succeed and some didn’t.  Because some people built that for themselves.  This is why there is that quote at the beginning about standing on the shoulders of giants…everyone is standing on the same giant but some choose to see further and some don’t.  Now success for many may not be building a business but doing something else…but it is because of their drive, their intelligence, their work, and their choices that makes them successful or not, not because of government.

Now I did bring up that education is not always equal. Its not. And education can be a greater equalizer in terms of access to opportunity than any road or Internet hub…and our system of education in America is screwed up.  But notice also in this most important of things the government provides it is Obama preventing growth, preventing change, preventing charters and vouchers and experimentation, and wholeheartedly backing the vile teacher’s union which seeks to maintain the status quo.  So in the one thing he could really affect to help give people more opportunity to build their own lives, he doesn’t actually want to improve that system.

Nothing in infrastructure determined who would succeed and who wouldn’t (except for education) it is will, intelligence, and work that does.

It is those things which build infrastructure.

And it is those things which Barack Obama is most opposed to and most wants to destroy.

*Not that that I don’t think the military couldn’t lose quite a bit of fat from its budget…however much of its waste is in Congressional pork projects that can’t be cut without Congressional approval…if you just cut the military’s budget the DOD doesn’t have the authority to cut those pork projects, only needed things like troops and body armor.

**Even Friedman and Hayek believed you need some form of income safety net, and they were right, you do…they were also right it needs to be for the lowest of the low (like the bottom 5%) not the for a third of the nation.

2 Comments

Filed under Capitalism, China, Congress, Conservative, Constitution, Corporate Welfare, Debt, Economics, Education, Election 2012, Equality, Evils of Liberalism, Free Will, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Health Care, Individualism, Long Term Thinking, Mitt Romney, Natural Rights, Obama, People Are Stupid, politics, Taxes, Tyranny, Welfare

Todd “Idiot” Akin not dropping out…yet

So the latest news is that moron’s moron Todd Akin is not dropping out.

Yet.

Hello, I’m an idiot.

I use the word yet because I plan on using some time today today to make sure this idiot knows what a worthless piece of shit he is.  How?

Here are his campaign and Congressional Office Numbers

Campaign Office
(636) 207-7986
DC Office
Phone: (202) 225-2561
St. Louis Office
(314)-590-0029
St. Charles Office
(636)-949-6826

All Republicans and conservatives should clog of up this jackass’ phones.

Demand this man resign.  Demand he drop out of the race.  Demand that the person answering the phone hang up and immediately quit.

Now.  I would recommend that without threatening, you be as angry, as insulting, and as berating to whoever answers the phone.  You might claim that this would be unfair as it’s not the fault of the person answering…but keep in mind they haven’t resigned yet, which means, right now, they’re throwing in with Mr. “legitimate rape”…and until they quit they aren’t getting the benefit of the doubt from me.  The goal here is not only to clog up his phones but to push as many of staff to just quit.  If they refuse to quit, if they insist on backing this idiot, then please feel free to make it your goal to make them cry.
Now maybe you don’t have it in you to be abusive to the dipshits who are supporting Akin, okay, I get that.  But if you are a conservative or Republican you do have a moral obligation to still call and demand he drop out of the race.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

southernstylemusings

Does it seem like every time we turn around, another member of the Republican Party seems to make a fool or him or herself? Or is that just my opinion? The amount of gaffes is causing me to lose much respect for the good ol’ GOP. Anyways, the latest gaffe occurred yesterday and came from the mouth of Senate Candidate Todd Akin, who claimed that women who are “legitimately raped” most often don’t get pregnant.

 

I find two primary things I find wrong with this statement. Number one: isn’t every rape a “legitimate” rape? Just the phrase “legitimate rape” is ridiculous, and I can’t imagine a woman ever shouting “legitimate rape,” or claiming she was “legitimately raped.” Number two: has the man EVER taken a biology class? A woman’s body doesn’t just shut down, as he thinks, when being raped. That even sounds like nonsense, but it seems like…

View original post 175 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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 challengert?

“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)
 

4 Comments

Filed under American Exceptionalism, Art, Atlas Shrugged, Capitalism, Charity, Civil Liberties, Conservative, Death, Economics, Election 2012, Equality, Evils of Liberalism, Faith, Fear, Free Will, Government is corrupt, Individualism, Literature, Long Term Thinking, Movies, Movies for Conservatives, Natural Rights, NeoConservative, Obama, Occupy Wall Street, Patriotism, Paul Ryan, People Are Stupid, philosophy, politics, Purpose of Life, Taxes, Tyranny, virtue, War on Terrorism

Liberal Desperation & Paul Ryan

The left has no facts to hit Ryan with…so they’re just going to smear him. SOP for Obama.

Liberals are going just crazy about Paul Ryan.  For the last couple of years the left has been trying destroy Paul Ryan.  They haven’t succeeded too well.
So now they’re getting desperate and hacks like Robert Reich (over-pompous Berkley Professor and terrible Secretary of Labor under Clinton…here’s just one of his disasters) are calling Ryan’s Plan social Darwinism.

“Paul Ryan exemplifies the social Darwinism at the core of today’s Republican Party: Reward the rich, penalize the poor, let everyone else fend for themselves. Dog eat dog.”

Now this brings up two points.  The first is that Reich (and many other liberals who have also developed an affinity for the term) is misusing the phrase “Social Darwinism”.  The second is that he’s lying about Ryan’s plan.

Let’s deal with the social Darwinism thing first.

Merriam-Webster defines Social Darwinism as:

 

an extension of Darwinism to social phenomena; specifically: a sociological theory that socio-cultural advance is the product of intergroup conflict and competition and the socially elite classes (as those possessing wealth and power) possess biological superiority in the struggle for existence

And the Oxford Dictionary defines it as

the theory that individuals, groups, and peoples are subject to the same Darwinian laws of natural selection as plants and animals. Now largely discredited, social Darwinism was advocated by Herbert Spencer and others in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was used to justify political conservatism, imperialism, and racism and to discourage intervention and reform.

I also checked a few history textbooks and they all agree with these two definitions.  And every legitimate source ties the term to a theory that justified racism. And I don’t mean liberals modern definition of racism where liberals call you a racist if you say Israel’s culture of Classical Liberalism, hard work and innovation is what makes it more successful than Palestine’s culture of vicious irrational hatred, idiocy, and the glorification of butchers…no, the racism of Social Darwinism is that people of ethnic groups are biologically superior or inferior to others.

Further Reich’s argument that Social Darwinism is “let everyone else fend for themselves. Dog eat dog” ignores that Social Darwinism was always in practice more along the lines of Jim Crow laws (where people were not allowed to fend for themselves but rather had artificial burdens placed on them…thank the Democratic party for that invention), nor was it “dog eat dog” as “dog eat dog” would have allowed the oppressed groups be it in South Africa, British controlled India, or post-Civil War South to defend themselves with the same rights as anyone else.  Now Social Darwinism might include “Reward the rich, penalize the poor” if you change rich to privileged and poor to oppressed…but otherwise the whole sentence is just riddled with contradictory terms.

And this ignores that none of this is applicable to Ryan’s plan in the least.  But even ignoring that for the moment, the clear point here is that if Reich actually does know what the term Social Darwinism means (and it is a technical term that can’t just change with the changing fashion) then he is implying that there is something racist about Ryan’s plan.  I’d dare Reich to show me something racist in the plan but as there isn’t I’ll not force the dunce to back up his own statement.

So Reich is either an idiot and doesn’t know the meaning of words (certainly a possibility) or he is trying the tried and true DNC tactic of race-baiting by implying your opponent is a racist.  Your call, either is possible, both are despicable.

However one other fact that makes race-baiting a possibility is how other liberal leaning groups are treating Ryan. For an example I go to The Onion (which used to have some funny stuff on Bush…but now is so completely slanted to the left instead of doing what a comic should, attack everyone, has just become dull).

In The Onion’s article Focus: Who Is Paul Ryan?”there is this fun piece:

“Vice Presidential Vetting Process: Was asked if he was gay about 47 different ways”

Which is a not subtle way to both imply that he’s gay and Romney’s a homophobe (which gets them to get the undercurrent of homophobia in the culture against Ryan and the surface hatred of homophobia from the left against Romney…let’s ignore it was mainly the left who were the chief members of hounding Romney’s foreign policy aide who happened to be gay out of his position by making it impossible to do his job as every question was about his orientation).  So liberals will have all the fun in the world trying to hurt someone else by calling them gay, but if you eat at Chick-fil-a you’re a Neanderthal who wants to burn gays at the stake and must be imprisoned.  Hypocrisy and double standards much?*

Okay now let’s deal with Ryan’s plan.  You may want to familiarize yourself with it again.  (I’ve also included some videos at the end.)

I’m going to deal in broad strokes because there are differences between the 2011 and 2012 version of his budget bills (the latter watered down to try and get it past the Senate so Obama would have to veto it…good thing for Obama, Harry Reid illegally refuses to have a vote on it) and because there will definitely be differences between those two bills and what President Romney will send to Congress in 2013…and getting bogged down in details that I can’t guarantee will exist is just silly.

The first is does Paul Ryan’s plan destroy Medicare?  Liberals kept saying it did, hell they’re still saying.  And left-of-center Polifact called that “THE LIE OF YEAR FOR 2011!”

Does he lower taxes on the rich?  Yes.  He lowers taxes on everyone!  How is that a bad thing?

Now a consistent complaint by Democrats is that Ryan’s plan didn’t give details on deductions he would eliminate and exactly where the lines would be in the tax bracket changes.  This just goes to show how stupid Democrats are. Paul Ryan is on the Budget committee…the Ways and Means committee deals with loopholes and deductions.  Now I know liberals are used to a dictator in training who rules by fiat and thinks he’s all three branches and all three parts of the Trinity rolled into one, but we Republicans like doing things legally.  And legally Ryan’s committee can’t make those calls.   Now he has said that if it were up to him he just get rid of deductions for high earners (which is what both liberals and conservatives want…although conservatives want tax cuts accompanying that).

Is it “reward the rich and punish the poor” as Reich claims?  No.  It’s reward everyone both through tax cuts and then through the economic boom that will come from the extra money being put into the system.

Is it “let everyone else fend for themselves? Dog eat dog”?  No, it is save Medicare…and if you let him have at it he and Romney would reform and save Medicaid, Social Security, and Welfare so that they do their job rather than waste our money.

Does it strip money from education? No it just doesn’t grow those programs.

Is it an irrational plan?  Not in the least.  In fact someone called it “entirely legitimate proposal”…oh that would be Barry who said that.

The fact of the matter is that there are no legitimate, economic based complaints against the Ryan plan.







*Just in case you’re wondering doesn’t this make my making fun of Rick Santorum in numerous cases implying he is a self-hating closet case make me a hypocrite?  Nope.  I in my heart of hearts believe Rick Santorum is a self-hating closet case and I believe this is an important point because it explains why social issues are the only thing he cares about to the exclusion of any and all relevant issues.  It’s his self-hating behavior that makes him irrational and unfit to lead.  You’d (A) have a hard time convincing me of the same about Paul Ryan and (B) Ryan’s focus is economics, economics, and economics…he’s a social conservative, but his passion is economics so even if you believe it were true (I’m still not sure what you would be basing that on) it wouldn’t be relevant to his actions, unlike sweater-vest boy.

3 Comments

Filed under Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Congress, Conservative, Constitution, Corporate Welfare, Debt, Economics, Election 2012, Evils of Liberalism, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Individualism, Long Term Thinking, Mitt Romney, Natural Rights, Obama, Paul Ryan, politics, Taxes, Welfare

Romney, the man of character

It will be refreshing to have intelligent adults who have character in the White House…we haven’t had that since 1988.

Ryan may be the “Man with the Plan” but Romney is and will always be first and foremost the man of character, tact, and human decency.

Today at a rally in Wisconsin Romney was again shouted by hecklers and once again he dealt with it with grace and character, calmly responding with:

“You see, young man, this group is respectful of other people’s right to be heard. And you ought to find yourself a different place to be disruptive because here we believe in listening to people with dignity and respect.”

The fact that Romney can deal with a heckler so calmly speaks volumes of his character and self confidence.

Now it’s hard to say how Obama would react under similar circumstances given that he vets all his audiences and comes at times other than the announced time so only the most faithful are there. (You might try to blame Secret Service security for this, but the Secret Service is also in charge of Romney and Ryan security so that’s just silly).  However we can see how petty, how arrogant and how vicious Obama gets if you just ask him a question.  His true colors as a tyrannical despot wanna come out in full force


(And who knows maybe I’m missing some events where Obama was heckled…not entirely my fault as the press never seems to cover these events, but they love to cover every time Romney is heckled to give the impression that the average people are with Obama and against Romney…or it could just be that they don’t dare show how petty Obama is when he is heckled in public).
But hey, if you want the petty and characterless jerk to a man who responds to criticism calmly, confidently and with class and humor, as Romney says, vote for the other guy.

Oh and just to show you that Romney dealing with hecklers well isn’t just a one time occurrence…

Leave a comment

Filed under Conservative, Election 2012, Mitt Romney, Obama, Paul Ryan, politics, virtue

Weekly Meditation: Who am I

So a little late, again, sorry (start of school year chaos).

So a week and a half ago I recommended you go over what you want in life.  Is what you want going to lead to your happiness?  Is it something you have control over? Is it something that only takes a change in attitude to gain?

This week I want you to look at the other question I put to you a few weeks ago:  Who am I?

It’s not an easy question.  Most of us will spend a lifetime trying to answer it.

For me the easiest way to understand who I am is the value and causes I champion.

These question about your self are directly related to the energy of your third chakra.

For me liberty is the all important virtue of the political world.  The lack of it I believe has been the greatest impediment to personal, social, economic, and spiritual growth for the last 6,000 years.   I believe it is a cause worth fighting for, worth dying for, and worth living for.  (The last one there is the really important part).

And from what I can glean about my past lives, this fight has pretty much been the defining issue in most of my lives.*

Not that this is what you personally should use to define your life.  But what is a life if it is not for something?  You have to be working toward something?  What is that you have that’s worth dying and living for?

Another good way I find to define your life is by the virtues you admire and wish to possess.

I’m not going to go through a list of the virtues I admire here, but as any regular reader of this blog probably can figure out, humility is not on my list…but just because it’s not on my list doesn’t necessarily mean it shouldn’t be on yours.  Use what you consider to be virtues not what other people do.  And when you have that list, ask yourself what are you doing to make yourself an exemplar of the virtues you admire?

And finally a good way to look at who you are is by looking at which people you admire and want to be more like.   Emulation has been a time-honored tradition of driving us to be our best and understand who we are from Aristotle’s Ethics to the slightly more trite WWJD.  Now honestly I prefer using fictional characters as the archetype to emulate because real people come with problems.  Either the person you’re emulating has numerous flaws (because they’re human) or they’re a saint.  And when looking for someone to emulate flaws can be a major distraction (especially if it’s someone you’ve idolized for a while only to discover later that they were really screwed up).  And as for saints, the virtues of a saint are not exactly what most people need in life, unless you’re a saint.  It’s why I don’t like the phrase “What would Jesus do?” because the correct answer for 99% of all possible situations is “Perform a miracle and give a sermon”—which fails slightly at being useful advice for most of the situations we might encounter.

Now I like fictional characters because unlike real people it’s easier to know them.  With a real person you either have to know them personally or you don’t understand all the complexities and reasons they had for certain actions (that and in reality very few famous figures in history in the modern world are not hideously screwed up individuals).  But fictional characters, for all their depth and layers, are people you are to able grasp the whole of their being.

Now for me personally I look to Don Quixote and Cyrano de Bergerac as my guiding stars.  Follow your convictions and beliefs, damn the consequences, you’ll be a better person for it.  And I have found this to be very true.  But what works for me may not work for you.

The main point to all of this is do you know who you are and do you know who you want to be?   Because if you don’t how do you know what you really want and how do you know how to act?

Who are you? What do you believe in?

These are questions you should reflect on this week.

*Before you make any comments about that sentence let me say that if you don’t believe in reincarnation, you are so incredibly on the wrong blog.

Leave a comment

Filed under 4th Chakra, 5th Chakra, 7th Chakra, Art, Chakra, Crown Chakra, Faith, Fifth Chakra, Free Will, God, Individualism, Meditation, New Age, philosophy, Prayer, Purpose of Life, Reincarnation, Seventh Chakra, Solar Plexus Chakra Willpower

Obama did say “You didn’t build that” and worse…Part I

“They might be giants, and we might be pygmies; but we stand on the shoulders of giants, so we can see farther.” –Attributed to Sir Isaac Newton

So I was actually worried that with all the chaos of work and my untimely writer’s block I would miss my chance to comment fully on Obama’s “You didn’t build that comment”…but thankfully for me the Democrats haven’t just admitted that he said what he said and he keeps making it worse and worse for himself.

Also the fact is that this was perhaps the dumbest thing to say in a campaign (next to admitting you’re getting foreign policy advice from a five-year-old)…and as Charles Krauthammer has rightly pointed out, this line should be played over and over again to make it absolutely clear where Obama stands.

 

So let’s deal with the first claim that Obama was taken out of context.

Now I have the whole speech here, but let’s pull the whole section, of the “You didn’t build that “speech out.  [Emphasis added]

Now, one last thing — one of the biggest differences is how we pay down our debt and our deficit.  My opponent, Mr. Romney’s plan is he wants to cut taxes another $5 trillion on top of the Bush tax cuts.  Well, first of all, like I said, the only way you can pay for that — if you’re actually saying you’re bringing down the deficit — is to cut transportation, cut education, cut basic research, voucherize Medicare, and you’re still going to end up having to raise taxes on middle-class families to pay for this $5 trillion tax cut.  That’s not a deficit reduction plan.  That’s a deficit expansion plan.  I’ve got a different idea.  I do believe we can cut — we’ve already made a trillion dollars’ worth of cuts.  We can make some more cuts in programs that don’t work, and make government work more efficiently.  Not every government program works the way it’s supposed to.  And frankly, government can’t solve every problem.  If somebody doesn’t want to be helped, government can’t always help them.  Parents — we can put more money into schools, but if your kids don’t want to learn it’s hard to teach them.  But you know what; I’m not going to see us gut the investments that grow our economy to give tax breaks to me or Mr. Romney or folks who don’t need them.  So I’m going to reduce the deficit in a balanced way.  We’ve already made a trillion dollars’ worth of cuts.  We can make another trillion or trillion-two, and what we then do is ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more.  And, by the way, we’ve tried that before — a guy named Bill Clinton did it.  We created 23 million new jobs, turned a deficit into a surplus, and rich people did just fine.  We created a lot of millionaires.  There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back.  They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.  You didn’t get there on your own.  I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.  Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.  If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.  The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.  There are some things, just like fighting fires; we don’t do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.  That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires. So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together.  That’s how we funded the GI Bill.  That’s how we created the middle class.  That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam.  That’s how we invented the Internet.  That’s how we sent a man to the moon.  We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for President — because I still believe in that idea.  You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.

Now I figure most of my readers are bright enough to see that yes he is quite blatantly saying that government is the reason you are successful, but let’s tear it apart line for line just in case someone didn’t get that.

 Now, one last thing — one of the biggest differences is how we pay down our debt and our deficit.  My opponent, Mr. Romney’s plan is he wants to cut taxes another $5 trillion on top of the Bush tax cuts. 

So let me get this straight.  Obama is in favor of TARP.  He’s in favor of stimulus.  And he’s in favor of even more spending.  Trillions of dollars worth.  Supposedly because spending money will help the economy. But cutting out the hideously inefficient middle man of the federal government will make putting more money in the system less efficient.  But taking money out of the system to spend it (and sending billions of those dollars to terrorist like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt).  This is the thing I never get about liberalism or Keynesian  ideas, the market is known for creating businesses that create wealth (Staples, Burger King, AMC theater…yeah that selection of businesses might not be that random) whereas the government builds bridges to nowhere, spends money on Solyndra, and sends money to despots to help them kill people and a thousand other ways that actually work to destroy wealth…on a very good day government spending leaves the amount of wealth created as neutral…on most days it destroys wealth.  On the same average day capitalism creates wealth.  So if I have a choice of where that money should go, to the private sector which has a history of creating wealth or to government which has a history of destroying it…hmmm tough call.

And does anyone else notice the sheer insanity of this portion when weighed against the next central point of the speech.  Here Obama is touting paying down the debt (that would be the debt that, if he tries really hard, he could very well double before he leaves in January) and in the next section he’s talking about the need to build more infrastructure projects.  I know liberals have problems with math but you can’t spend a dollar on both infrastructure and the deficit.  Doesn’t work.  At least Republicans have the argument of the Laffer Curve: that if you decrease the tax burden the economy will grow and your tax revenue will be the same as when it was at a the higher tax burden…you may disagree with the idea of the Laffer Curve (to hell if it’s been proven over and over again in country after country ) but don’t you dare make fun of my understanding of economics when you’re saying you can spend the same dollar in two (hell, with Obama 10) different places at the same time.

Of course pointing out this basic contradiction in the message from one part of the speech to the next I’m sure is taking it “out of context.”

 

Well, first of all, like I said, the only way you can pay for that — if you’re actually saying you’re bringing down the deficit — is to cut transportation,

Cut transportation?  Great.  Let’s sell the boondoggle that is Amtrack.  (Which has lost almost a billion over the last 10 years on food alone ).  And hell I’m sure if we privatized the TSA the whole system would be cheaper and more efficient and people might fly more.

cut education,

Cut education?  Good. The federal government shouldn’t be involved in education spending because it either goes to utterly useless research, the coffers of the unions or for programs that have nothing to do with education of children.

 cut basic research,

Basic research? Wouldn’t that be the responsibility of the private sector?  Oh yeah, we always tout the advances of the space race as government funded research gone well…but we ignore that those were the days we either outsourced everything to the private sector or to Nazi war criminals…the private sector can do research on its own and while there aren’t any particularly bright war criminals left, I’m not sure it’s worth the cost even if there were still a few lying around.  In the last 40 years what has government research given us?  Not much.

voucherize Medicare,

Cool!   You mean actually make it efficient and provide what people want?  Cool.

and you’re still going to end up having to raise taxes on middle-class families to pay for this $5 trillion tax cut.

Again, you cut taxes and revenues stay the same.  It’s why Clinton had enough money to start paying down the deficit, because Reagan cut taxes and let the next three presidents ride on the benefits…and before him Kennedy cut taxes and found the exact same thing to be true.

  That’s not a deficit reduction plan.  That’s a deficit expansion plan.  I’ve got a different idea. 

“I’m going to spend another trillion on worthless green companies that are going to fail and lose all your money.  That’s my plan and I’m sticking to it!”

 I do believe we can cut — we’ve already made a trillion dollars’ worth of cuts. 

And if you believe that he’s made a trillion in cuts while the deficit has grown by almost six trillion…well  (A) you are very stupid and (B) call me I have a bridge to sell you.

If I cut my budget by a $1,000 during the year and find myself $6,000 further in debt by the end of the year…I didn’t really cut much did I?  (Especially when your revenue has been increasing over that time,  even in inflation adjusted dollars…yes there was a revenue dropoff from FY 2008 to FY 2009, but there have been increases in revenue every year since and the jackass’ spending keeps outpacing that growth in receipts)

 We can make some more cuts in programs that don’t work, and make government work more efficiently. 

You had 4 years. You expanded the scope, size and power of every single department with the exception of defense.  Go on…name for me a program that you want to cut.  Name one.  Hell name one non-defense program you have cut.  Pardon me if your attempt at sounding like a conservative rings hollow.

Not every government program works the way it’s supposed to.

Name one that does.  They all need to be cut.  Every single department could do with a 10% budget cut right off the top (even DOD which, if nothing else, has billions in useless pork construction and research projects).

  And frankly, government can’t solve every problem.  If somebody doesn’t want to be helped, government can’t always help them.  Parents — we can put more money into schools, but if your kids don’t want to learn it’s hard to teach them.

This line should actually be more disturbing than “You didn’t build that.”  You’ll notice here that is not just a government power to help, but it appears to be the government’s primary function to help people, and if you don’t succeed it’s because you didn’t let government help you…you dirty, disrespectful, evil child….how dare you refuse to let government help you.

Notice the implication here is that we’re all children and bratty ones at that if we don’t allow government to run our lives.

Also the line about schools and money is just out of place.  Yes, money makes no difference to education.  Kids can learn from low income schools, or not learn from schools rolling in dough…but this would have to be the first time I’d ever heard Obama talking about parental and student responsibility over shoveling more money to the teacher’s union—this would be the first time I’d ever heard Obama not view tax payer money as the panacea of all problems…but isn’t this the Obama who berated us all for wanting to cut federal funding for education like two minutes ago?…oh I’m sorry looking at the whole of the argument and the contradictions throughout must again be “taking things out of context.”

  But you know what; I’m not going to see us gut the investments that grow our economy to give tax breaks to me or Mr. Romney or folks who don’t need them. 

Again are you spending money (liberals say “invest” when they mean waste taxpayer money) or are you going to pay down the deficit, one or the other.  Also taking money from people seems to have done so well during the last 4 years, I’m sure taking more will do even more wonders.  You know Barry you should listen to this guy who said raising taxes in a recession would be a really dumb idea…oh, that was you.  Inconsistency is a big thing with Barry.

So I’m going to reduce the deficit in a balanced way. 

Again didn’t just a sentence ago wasn’t he talking about “investment.”  PICK ONE, GOD DAMN IT!

 We’ve already made a trillion dollars’ worth of cuts.

Even if this lie were true…they weren’t enough.

  We can make another trillion or trillion-two, and what we then do is ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more.

Yeah because taking more money out of the system is a great idea.  Even Keynes would slap the shit out of you for suggesting raising taxes during a recession…in case you’re wondering I think Friedman would get a crowbar and Hayek would get a pair of pliers and a blowtorch and both would go medieval on his ass.

  And, by the way, we’ve tried that before — a guy named Bill Clinton did it.  We created 23 million new jobs, turned a deficit into a surplus, and rich people did just fine.  We created a lot of millionaires.  There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. 

I’m sure if Clinton was being really honest right about now his first words would be “who is this ‘we’ shit?”  Second, let us not forget that the great Clinton economy, which again more because of the long term effects of Reagan, was also partly due to the low regulation, better (not great) spending of the Republican controlled congress, and that Clinton put a lot money in short term loans that cut the deficit temporarily but screwed us in the long term…and welfare reform (which, Barack, you just gutted) http://blog.heritage.org/2012/07/12/obama-guts-welfare-reform/

 They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.  You didn’t get there on your own.

You didn’t build that. Keep this point in mind.

  I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. 

Oh, Barry, no one with a brain thinks you’re smart.  In fact I think you’re so fucking dumb you make Carter look competent by comparison.

There are a lot of smart people out there.

Well, there are if we’re using you as the standard for smart.

  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.

Again, I’m not entirely sure if you’ve ever worked a day in your life.   But the government still didn’t come out with idea of

  Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. 

Yeah and they loathe you taking money out of their wallets and destroying opportunities with your oppressive policies.

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. 

Yes, dipshit, everyone receives help.  Everyone has people around them willing to help them.  The question isn’t whether there was someone there to help you, the question is did you have the intelligence, the will and the work ethic to use that help.

There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.

Okay, as a teacher let me deal with this part in a little more detail and this will require a bit of tangent…but it will have a point.

I am a great teacher.  Not good.  Great.  I have the rarest of rare abilities in teaching to be able to get students to push themselves to their limits and push their own limits farther than they could ever believe themselves possible of.  Any teacher can “teach” higher level students and have them learn facts and skills; I can push them and force them to think.  One student once said “You have taught me more in 9 weeks than I have learned in 17 years.”  And if you track down some of my students, they will tell you that this paragraph is actually quite humble.  Why do I bring this up?  Because as good as I am, if any of my students ever become successful, I know I am not responsible.  I have helped, I have probably made it easier for them to succeed, made it possible to achieve success a little sooner, or perhaps aided in pushing their success just a step or two further…but I would never claim responsibility for any of my student’s success.  Their success is because of their will, their virtue, and their work.  And Obama disgraces and cheapens, my work, and the work of every good teacher, by saying we are responsible for our student’s success.

  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. 

Yeah, the American system: capitalism.  You provide a system of laws that prevent theft, fraud and protect the earned property gains of work, and you get out of the way.

Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. 

Ah the great sentence.  And you know what I love about this?  I copied this directly off the White House transcript.  They are the ones who made these two separate sentences.  Thus basic rules of grammar the “that” in the second half of the sentence refers to the “business” not the “road and bridges” in the previous sentence.  But maybe the person typing it up is as dumb as the person who delivered it.  Maybe they were supposed to be one sentence: “Somebody invested in roads and bridges–If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.”  Nope that doesn’t work either.  “That” is singular, like “a business”—“road and bridges” are plural, if he had been referring to the roads and bridges he would have said “you didn’t build those.”  The nature of parallelism in the use of pronouns is kind of built into the brain (even if it’s not hardwired at birth, by the time you’re as old as Obama it’s hardwired) and if he had meant the road and bridges he would have said “those.”  He didn’t.

So he really did say “You didn’t build your business.”

Somebody else made that happen. 

No.  Again the THAT is referring to the business, and no, no one else built a business but themselves.  And this argument completely ignored the fact that those road and those bridges, and those teachers*, and whatever else the government provided were there for everyone.

And that these benefits exist because of those business for creating the wealth and providing the jobs.

 The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

And it sat there. The networks he talks about were created in the early 70’s. Just as the silicon chip was created in the early 50’s.  And both were sponsored by government research and they both did nothing for two decades under government control.  Just silicon chips had Steve Jobs who realized you could make money off it. And the personal computer was born. And for the same reason, the modern internet was born out of a capitalistic desire to create wealth.

But but but, they wouldn’t have been able to do that if the government hadn’t laid the ground work, some whiner will say…I’m going to go into this in more detail in the second part of this series, but please keep in mind the early electric grid infrastructure was private, AT&T built an entire private infrastructure that was so good that the government felt it needed to be broken up in the 1980’s, that all the baby bells created a private cell phone tower infrastructure.  If those crappy networks the government had created weren’t around to build off of, I promise you some computer geek would have developed it on their own because there was money to be made in the idea.

  The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.

Actually human psychology says it has more to do with competition and the drive that comes from it.

But yes most human success is because people willingly join together to achieve a common goal…notice the willingly, a concept opposed to the government which is designed around a principle of coercion.

  There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires. 

Not hard to imagine.  History is filled with it.  Also there were town fire brigades, long before there was federal government.  People can do things without you Barack, in fact, while there are a few things that the federal government should do, I can safely say that this entire planet can do just about everything better without Barack…and it can do most things better without the government, than with.

 So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together. 

The founders of this nation would loathe everything you do, jackass.

That’s how we funded the GI Bill. 

Not to be overly cynical here, but I think we helped fund the GI Bill by (A) not driving up the cost of college to insane levels as we’ve done in recent years and (B) by bombing the shit out just about every other industrialized nation on Earth, thus making the U.S. the only ballgame in town for a road to economic growth.  I don’t mean to say there was anything unethical in our bombing of the Axis, there wasn’t (in fact I think we should have done some more, again for ethical reasons*), but it certainly didn’t hurt our economic outlook for the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s.

 That’s how we created the middle class. 

Again, who is this ‘we shit?  The middle class created themselves through hard work, intelligence, and will.  It is the government that has at every turn in the last century hampered their growth.

 That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam.

I find it interesting that he mentions the Golden Gate.  A project conceived entirely by a state legislature (no federal funding at all) and mostly bankrolled by Amadeo Giannini, founder of Bank of America.

 That’s how we invented the Internet. 

The private sector invented the internet. The government invented a system that sat for 20 years doing nothing.

That’s how we sent a man to the moon. 

Again, mostly due to the genius of private contractors…who were backed up by corrupt deals made by the government.

We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for President — because I still believe in that idea.

I keep reading this sentence and I keep failing to see how the basics of economics (principles which Obama regularly ignores) has anything to do with his running for president.  Yes, with the nature of economics we do tend to rise and fall together (which begs the question why do you want to over tax the successful causing them to fall…which would cause everyone to fall).  But even if you ignore that it’s Obama, who loathes capitalism, saying this it still makes no sense.  The first point doesn’t demand the second point, no matter who is saying it…at least for anyone in U.S. history.

  You’re not on your own, we’re in this together. 

Well, jackass, if you’re president, I am on my own, or damn near it, because the entire apparatus of the government will certainly be against me.

3 Comments

Filed under Budget, Capitalism, Congress, Conservative, Economics, Election 2012, Evils of Liberalism, Founding, Free Will, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Long Term Thinking, Mitt Romney, Obama, Patriotism, philosophy, politics, Ronald Reagan, Taxes, Teacher's Union, Tyranny, Unions, Unjust legislation, Welfare

Tax Returns, Rich Liberals, Stupidity and Hypocrisy

This thing about Romney’s tax returns is stupid, and I’m just tired of it. 

You have to consider a couple of things to start out with.  (1) It’s not like Obama’s White House and IRS don’t have access to those returns and (2) the IRS under Obama has been more than willing to harass Romney supporter as shown here and here (3) if there was anything damning in them don’t you think Obama would have already leaked that (after all if highest level classified national security information can be leaked to the New York Times to get reelected do you really think Obama draws the moral line at leaking his opponent’s tax information?).  Also given that people are upset about things like offshore accounts (which are actually good for growing and American economic growth) and the fact that Romney only pays about 15% on his income (because it’s pretty much all capital gains income which is taxed at a much lower rate than other income because if it wasn’t you would see the collapse of what is left of the American economy) it is clear that ignorant people are very agitated by the intricacies of finance when they have no understanding of what is going on…thus releasing even more financial information will allow liberals to make ethical, legal, and smart financial choices sound like unethical, illegal and stupid financial moves (like giving money to your cronies at Solyndra…oh wait that wasn’t Mitt). 

This then of course brings up a discussion of how the rich need to pay their “fair share.”  Let’s just ignore that 47% of the nation isn’t paying anything (is that fair?) or that the top 10% earn about 45% of the income but pay 70% of the taxes (yeah that sounds fair).  And Mitt only pays 15% of his income to the government, that’s not fair (of course he already paid taxes on when Bain earned the money and paid a corporate tax on it, then Romney paid taxes on the money Bain paid him, which he then invested in companies who paid their own taxes on the money they earned, and then Mitt paid his 15% on the income he earned from that investment.  Oh, and the US has the highest corporate tax rate of any nation (http://www.heritage.org/federalbudget/corporate-tax-rate) …so it’s not like he hasn’t paid and paid and paid taxes on that income.  Yep he hasn’t paid his fair share.  Now there are other reasons that Mitt hasn’t paid income taxes in a while…like the fact that he didn’t take a salary as head of the Olympics or as Governor of Massachusetts–when you don’t earn anything you don’t pay taxes.  And of course this all ignores the fact that this is a man who gave away his entire inheritance to charity and gives about 15% every year to charity (some bigots will decry the fact that a large portion of that goes to the Mormon church, but even if you had theological issues with the church , you’d be a damn fool to say they are not in the business of numerous aid programs).

But liberals just dismiss this because (A) “he’s not paying his fair share” (still waiting to hear what percentage that is) and (B) it’s not to the charities they like. 

And this leads to an odd habit I’ve noticed among rich liberals.  They bitch and moan and whine about how we don’t support Planned Parenthood, or NPR, or PBS, or the arts or this or that project or organization enough.

Now as far as I know, and I haven’t verified every picture on this, but except for Mitt I think everyone in this picture is liberal…and as far as I know only a 4 or 5 give significant sums to charity (only a couple do it without seeking public praise for thier charity)…so the question is that if most of the these liberals feel that more money should be spent on the poor and thier pet projects, why don’t they put thier money where their mouth is?

Oddly enough these are often the same rich liberals who say that they aren’t being taxed enough.  (Let’s ignore for the moment you can just not take deductions and pay the full rate or you can give more than the minimum to government…and yet they’re taking deductions and not just giving money by the bushel load to the feds  (follow the link, it goes straight to where you can just give money to the Treasury Dept…I’m going to wager right now no one is going to give a dime).   That the rich should be taxed at much higher rate (one assumes to pay for all these pet projects they want funded).

Hmmm….rich people say the government is taking enough of their money AND they’re saying the government should give more to their pet projects…hmmmmm….

 

Am I the only one who thinks that they could just cut out the middle man and give more to all these things they say needs funding.  Just cut a check, and don’t worry about the government.

But, some whiny liberal will say, there are more rich Republicans.  But that’s not really true, it’s a bit more divided fairly evenly and statistics suggests it may be slightly biased to the left (performers are statistically more liberal and entertainment makes people very rich very quickly).  Also it might be helpful to take into account that Obama has raised 181 Million from large contributors and Romney has raised only 121 Million from large contributors (a 3:2 advantage for the left ) so while not a perfect way to calculate it (if nothing else Romney had months of fundraising that he had to share with Ricky and Newt that Obama could just rake in the dough) but there is still the fact is that there are still a lot of rich liberals .

Then of course the rich liberals will complain that it’s not enough if they do it, they need the money of ALL the rich to make an effort…apparently these people are forgetting what the overhead of the government is between numerous departments, lost interest on the money, corruption, waste, idiocy, Michelle’s vacations, trust me giving straight to the charity is far, far more efficient (or did we forget how much money the GSA is spending?) .

Now if liberals don’t want to spend their money that’s their right and I support it.  I believe in the virtue of charity, but I also believe that different people have different things to learn in different life times and the virtue of charity, while admirable in most cases (it’s not as if it’s done merely for good press…like, say, you say you’re going to give all your money away when you die, but you spend your days trying to avoid paying back taxes…Warren Buffet I mean you), but it is not the only virtue and I can see some spiritual lessons may require for not giving out money…and I’m not going to judge who is in what category.  But I will judge hypocrisy.  And if you claim more of your money should be taken for the public good, but don’t spend it on the public good when it is fully in your power to do so, you are a gutless, virtueless, hypocritical piece of filth.  I believe it also goes by the title DNC donor. 

The fact of the matter is that liberals don’t care about Romney’s tax records.  The bright ones know there is nothing untoward in there, they want a piece of propaganda to rile the more ignorant in their base.*  They don’t care about fair share or helping others because if they did they would put their money where their mouths are with or without the government’s help. 

*I’m not claiming there aren’t ignorant people on the right, there are, they were known as Santorum supporters…but his loss shows they’re not in the majority.

3 Comments

Filed under Capitalism, Charity, Congress, Conservative, Economics, Election 2012, Free Will, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Individualism, liberal arrogance, Long Term Thinking, Mitt Romney, Natural Rights, Obama, People Are Stupid, philosophy, politics, Taxes, Welfare