Monthly Archives: January 2013

Progressives want more fair pay acts to create equality…that will be neither fair nor equal…

So the latest pointless legislation to come from idiots on the left is the  ‘Paycheck Fairness Act’:

Mikulski and DeLauro said the Paycheck Fairness Act would also allow women to seek punitive damages for pay discrimination, establish a grant program to strengthen salary negotiation and other workplace skills and require the Department of Labor to enhance outreach and training efforts to eliminate pay disparities.

Oh great more laws to enforce “fairness” between wages because of the myth that women earn less than men.

Yes because government programs, grants, Federal involvement in negations, and regulations will result in far more equal pay.  This equal pay will of course come in the form of more unemployed people because grants, programs, regulations and overreach tends to result in the contraction of the economy.  And everyone is equal when you don’t have a job.  But don’t worry we have the Obama and his Jobs Council to help find those people new jobs…oh, wait, we don’t.

But at least we have the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to protect us.  Obama said so in his inauguration.

Okay let’s first talk about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act…or as I call it bullshit.  What is it really?  It’s a bone to the trial lawyers who now have legal cover to sue for perceived injustices that are decades old.  It’s the exact opposite of the tort reform we so dearly need.   Because it has nothing to do with equal pay.

But back to the myth that men make more than women.  It’s only true if you ignore all relevant detail.  It’s like saying that people in their 40’s make more than people in their 20’s and blaming age discrimination.  Factually the wage gap is true, but it ignores all the relevant reasons as to why it’s true.

Did you know that women in their 20’s make more money than their male counterparts in the same field? 

Did you know that when you correct for experience and education and the job then women of any age earn more?  (See Thomas Sowell’s book Economic Facts and Fallacies for more on this) It’s just that women take these large swaths of time off from their careers…the Obama administration can find no explanation but sexism for the time women take off from their jobs.

Since women in their 20′s are making more than men in their 20′s, actually if you had equal work for equal pay it means most men should be making more…hmmm…..oh wait because we’ve put in card check and unfair practices at the federal labor board everyone will be in a unions with a few year whether they want to be or not.  Thus we will all be getting paid the same, irrespective of education, work, merit, seniority or skill.

Or consider the fact that 93% of all workplace fatalities are men.  Did anyone want to talk about workplace equality for this?  Or did anyone want to consider this suggest that men are statistically taking more dangerous jobs which pay more for the risk, thus accounting for the discrepancy between wages when you consider ALL MEN and ALL WOMEN.

Yes when you consider all men to all women men make more.  But when you look at the same job for two people with the same education and years of experience, women make more.

Women you want to make more?  Take jobs that pay more and don’t take off time to have children.  That’s all you have to do, value income more than a job you may enjoy and value income more than having a family.  Statistically that’s all you have to do and you will make more than your male counterparts.  You don’t need legislation.

real war on women(Of course if we took that route we might have to acknowledge things like Obama’s economics have hurt women more than men, or that Obama is funneling guns and combat jets to countries that treat women as little more than slaves, or that one of the few places women are paid less than men is Obama’s Administration, or that the real war on women might be gender selective abortions pushed by Planned Parenthood and defended by Democrats*)

In the end this is just another BS law by the left using government to infantilize people and make them feel entirely dependent on a government to protect them and take care of them.

*I’m pro-choice but I think even pro-choice people can admit that gender selective abortion are really sick…although ironically the people who would have such an abortion are the last people I would ever want to raise a child–it’s the sad irony of all abortion.

***t

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Filed under Capitalism, character, Civil Liberties, Congress, Conservative, Debt, Economics, Equality, Evils of Liberalism, Free Will, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Natural Rights, Obama, Obama Ceasar, People Are Stupid, politics, Unions

Bi Weekly Meditation: Focus on the Present

 

 

I should probably do a meditation on not taking on too much…but that would rather hypocritical and something I’m just not ready to do in my own life…so this week we’ll be covering

But in lieu of that you can at least focus on dealing with the problems at hand.

Tao Te Ching

 

Focus on the following quote for 5-10 minutes every morning.  And repeat as necessary if anything comes up that stresses you out.  All you have control over right now is your own actions.  Planning for the future is important, and that’s sometimes something you should be doing, but make the plan, account for the most likely contingencies and then only worry about what you can do in the present…why because the best common sense will tell you even the best plans are going are to fall apart in the moment, so you don’t have to worry about them.  Do what you can now and roll with punches.

As for the past, if you’re analyzing it looking for mistakes and how not to make them again, that’s one thing and a valuable thing…but it’s also detached.  It shouldn’t cause a negative emotional reaction, and if it is you’re not doing anything productive. Those are the times you most need to focus on what you can do in the present.

And as anxiety and depression come up during the day repeat this quote and then move onto to doing something in the present.  I’ll admit this seems so common sense and obvious to be bordering on trite, but those are often the lessons we most often forget and don’t practice when we should.

 

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Filed under Long Term Thinking, Meditation, New Age, Prayer, Religion, Spirituality

A sincere and honest question…Judeo-Christian Values? What are they?

The term “Judeo-Christian Values” is bandied about a lot in public discourse.   Yes it dropped off a little after Rick “I want to use the government to institute a theocracy” Santorum dropped out* last year but it seems to be making a comeback.

So I have to ask, again, what are Judeo-Christian values?  How are they important to politics?  And how do they differ from other religions?

Now maybe it’s just as a non-Christian I’m not getting something that you understand as someone who practices this religion.

Now it’s not that I don’t understand the obvious differences between Christianity or Judaism and other religions.  But I don’t see how the differences I do know about have any effect on government. The truth and virtue of capitalism and democratic-Republics are just as true whether you believe in the Trinity/Yaweh, or Braham and Shiva.  The saving power of grace in most of Christianity has little to do with politics, as far as I can see it.  And just because one tribe of people has a very particular contract with God, it doesn’t negate the importance of the rule of law for everyone else.   The differences I can think of don’t have any effect on politics.  And I see the hand of Providence in the creation of this nation, but the hand of Providence can be seen in event that aren’t specifically Judeo-Christian in nature, so that doesn’t necessarily give precedence to only that belief system.  What am I missing?

And the values that do have an effect on politics—the value of the human soul, which leads to the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness; the condemnation of violence, hatred, envy, hypocrisy; the praising of personal charity, honesty, compassion, hard work and a connection with something greater than yourself—are not the specific territory of Judeo-Christianity.  You find them Hinduism, in Zoroasterism, in Taoism, in Buddhism, in ancient Pagan beliefs, in Baha’i and Sikh beliefs, and in modern day New Age beliefs.  The values, which then become the backbone of our legal systems are in all religions. So why just Judeo-Christianity?  I understand that each of these belief systems place a different ordering on the priority of these virtues and values, but there are so many variations just within the scheme of Judeo-Christianity itself to make that an issue.
Heck even when Paul Ryan refers to Judeo-Christianity he does something very interesting:

A lot of the basis for this government is in this picture...not a lot of these people are from the Judeo-Christian background.

A lot of the basis for this government is in this picture…not a lot of these people are from the Judeo-Christian background.

It’s a dangerous path, it’s a path that grows government, restricts freedom and liberty, and compromises those values, those Judeo-Christian, Western-civilization values that made us such a great and exceptional nation in the first place.

He pairs Judeo-Christianity with Western-civilization, with the idea that is unique to the west of the democratic-Republic (a pagan creation by the pagan populations of Athens and Rome) that demands:

Our rights come from nature and God, not government.

(And while these ideas first thrived under predominantly Christian nations of the West, Ryan seems to be acknowledging the pagan Athenian/Roman importance by pairing the two.)

“The Bible is a book. It’s a good book, but it is not the only book. ” …at least in terms of government.

And it seems a little sweeping since while all the Founding Fathers would admit that the Bible contained what they saw as the best expression of ethics they could find, Adams, Jefferson and Franklin denied the divinity of Christ, and Freemason Washington’s beliefs on religion are probably a little more complex than just saying “Judeo-Christian values.”

Now I get that using this phrase may be to separate themselves it’s not the Religion of Peace (which very clearly endorses theocratic fascism) or atheism (both of which deny the divinity of human life)…oh sure atheists say they value human life under their philosophy of secular humanism, but atheism denies any metaphysical reason for human life to have value…so basically it’s them telling me I should just take it on “faith” that human life has value…which rings a little hollow.   But as I pointed out before the phrase also separates you from a lot of religions that do share these ethical values.

So which values am I missing that has an effect on our political structures, rules, and laws that separate Judeo-Christianity from the values of most the other religions on Earth?  I’m not denying the importance of the relationship  a person has with God, or that spiritual beliefs were important in the founding of this nation and is continuance today.  I just want to know if there is a value you think exists in the Judeo-Christian tradition that is necessary for the continuance of this nation that is specific only to the the Judeo-Christian tradition.

And I ask all of this, not because I just want to insult people, but because I have a second argument about this term and how it may be hurting us politically, but I first need to know if there is something about this term that I don’t understand coming from an outsider’s perspective.

*And don’t you dare to try and defend that man as a conservative.  If you look at his record he never met a tax, a regulation, or bribe he didn’t like.

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Filed under Aristotle, Capitalism, Conservative, Faith, God, Natural Rights, Patriotism, Paul Ryan, philosophy, politics, Religion, Spirituality

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ–Come and Take Them.

I am now seeing a few liberals claiming that one of the most recent rallying cries of the conservatives against gun control, μολὼν λαβέ  (come and take them), is something we made up…that the claim that these are the supposed words of King Leonidas to Xerxes upon being told to lay down his weapons on the last day of Battle of Thermopylae is a lie.  I even saw one liberal go as far as to claim, accurately, that the line doesn’t appear anywhere in Herodotus’ Histories (although from his level of argument I’m not sure if he himself had ever read a single word of Herodotus).

So if you run into one of these liberals who claims that we just made this story up, refer them to the a book called Apophthegmata Laconica (Sayings of the Spartans) which is attributed to Plutarch (although he probably didn’t write it)

The chapter on Leonidas, verse 11:

πάλιν δὲ τοῦ Ξέρξου γράψαντος, ‘πέμψον τ ὅπλα,’ ἀντέγραψε,

 μολὼν λαβέ.

or in English

When Xerxes wrote again, “Hand over your arms,” he [King Leonidas] wrote in reply, “Come and take them.”

I have no idea if Leonidas actually said this, no one does.  But this statement is from a legitimate ancient source.  And it’s just silly to claim that it was just recently made up.

molon labeThe problem with liberals is that they think that since they lie about everything, that we’re lying about everything too.  But it is fun to show they’re wrong.

Also you know they’re running out of arguments when they have nothing but attacking your slogans.

But if you want even more of a reason than what I’ve already provided to defend the right to bear arms I would suggest taking a look at the great David Mamet’s latest piece Gun Laws and the Fools of Chelm…my favorite part has to be:

The Left loves a phantom statistic that a firearm in the hands of a citizen is X times more likely to cause accidental damage than to be used in the prevention of crime, but what is there about criminals that ensures that their gun use is accident-free? If, indeed, a firearm were more dangerous to its possessors than to potential aggressors, would it not make sense for the government to arm all criminals, and let them accidentally shoot themselves? Is this absurd? Yes, and yet the government, of course, is arming criminals.

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Filed under 2nd Amendment, Evils of Liberalism

Ramblings of Conservative Cathy: The Farce of Obama’s Inaugural Address

Gosh...how can I best kill my base and help Romney's?

Double Speaker in Chief

Have you ever wished that the GOP actually had someone who would respond to everything the Liberals said – I have.  Below are my responses to our President in regards to his Inauguration speech.  I just wanted to share this with everyone who ever wanted to respond to the nonsense liberals expound – maybe it will make you feel better but If you are like me I am walking away more confused as most of it makes no sense and I’m in a quandary if there really is a response that they would actually understand.

Have fun making your own way through the Orwellian Double Speak!  Make up your own responses……

Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy.

 

Except we are a Republic not a Democracy.

We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights

 (hope he actually understands what that means),

 

that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time.

 The Object of those words are exactly what they say and mean – no need for a bridge.

For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth.

 

 Is this a threat of somekind? I’m not particularly worried, because we have a 2nd Amendment specifically to help sustain those freedoms.

The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people,

 

Not exactly what Republic means.  If you read the Declaration you kind find of and by the people…that for the people thing was tacked on later.

entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.

 

 Does he know that is free market, capitalism, not Royalty?

For more than two hundred years, we have. 

 Early in the 1900’s we began to separate from those goals and he apparently is going to make the bridge longer/wider.

Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free.

 

Why exactly are we bringing up slavery now?  Does he think the Civil War ended just before he took office?  He needs to stop dividing this country and work to see it as a whole and not separate groups.

We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.

 

Unfortunately he did not study history as problems occurred because we did not work together to heal and move forward.  Also notice that “make anew” he’s using it in the sense of, ‘eh, we don’t have to listen to what came before’ kind of way.

Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.

 

What is the relevance of this statement?  And really when did we determine that?  Every study of economics I’ve seen shows that a prospering economy requires rule of law (not rule by fiat), property rights (not governments telling people what to buy), due process of law (not whim of a dictator), stability (not a new set of regulations every week), and equal application of the law (not cronyism).  Railroads and highways, schools and colleges come from a thriving economy, they do not create it.

Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.

Well actually, the rules are supposed to protect citizens only when they cannot protect themselves – “fair” has nothing to do with it.  Fair play in the sense that everyone plays by the same rules is important, not that everyone ends with an equal share which is what you Barry mean by fair play. That kind of fair play has no place in a free market.

Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.

 

When did this occur?  And as study after study has shown, Americans are more charitable than any other people on Earth, and we are most charitable when we don’t have our money stolen from us.

 

Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. 

 

Notice how he seems to be scoffing at the idea of “skepticism of central authority.” He would rather us just cower to his every dictate.  And “the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone”  is also misphrased—the intelligent among us have never succumbed to the faction that ANY of society’s ills can be cured by government AT ALL.  He suggests that government has place in curing society’s ills, it doesn’t.  Individuals, the people that make up society, and the people alone, without being forced by a government or gun, are the only ones responsible for solving society’s ills—it is part of right to pursue Happiness, because we cannot be happy by living as an island unto ourselves.  Life and Liberty must come first to be able to secure this right to purse Happiness.  “[T]o secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men” notice there is nothing there about curing society’s ills.

 

Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.

 What has he ever done or said that shows he believes in personal responsibility or hard work other than as a revenue source for his agenda?  He is paying lip service to ideals his every action shows he is opposed to.

But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.

 

 This is a ridiculous statement and ambiguous at best as no one except progressives/liberals have ever stated or demonstrated anything like this. In fact the use of the term collective is in direct opposition to everything the Constitution and Bill of Rights stands for.  Fidelity to the individual right to liberty and to the individual right to pursue Happiness, requires individual action.  Charity requires individual action.  All that has ever been good in society requires individual action, it may be a group of individuals working together out of choice and common cause, but it is always individual action.

The Problem

For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias.

 

Again what does this mean?  What are his plans?  And the American people could meet the challenges by acting alone, if you let them.  By creating business, by inventing new thing, by implementing new ideas.  President Obama you sell the individual short, you always have, you always will. And that is why you are wrong.

 

No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.

 

Again this has always been a fact but it has nothing to do with government.  And a single teacher can inspire the next Einstein. A single entrepreneur can convince a bank his idea is worthy of a loan and through genius, hard work and effort create a company that can build those roads, below cost and at a profit.

This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending.

 

 No the threat still exists and is growing, you and your administration and half of America have decided to ignore facts and walk away from reality.   The decade of war is ending?  Afghanistan is worse off than when you took office.  Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt have fallen to al Qaeda backed Islamofascists worse than the dictators they deposed, Syria and much of North Africa are about to join them.  You sound as delusional as Neville Chamberlain promising “Peace in our time” on the eve of World War II.  (Oh wait, keep reading and you actually do promise “peace in our time.”)

An economic recovery has begun.

 

I or anyone in business has yet to see it.

 America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.

 

Why will it not exist if we seize it individually?

 

For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it.

 

  Due to progressive policies.  Actually inequality has nothing to do with how prosperous a society is.  The fact is that capitalism makes the rich richer AND the poor richer.  Your plans make everyone but your cronies poorer.

 

We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class.

 

Meaning that the middle class will carry the cost burden for all your desires?

 

We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work;

 

That is when an individual thrives – America thrives when it follows the Constitution and underlying premise of free market/capitalism. Also people don’t find financial independence, they work and earn it.

when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship.

???  The only dishonest labor I see is your union buddies getting paid insane wages to do nothing.

 

We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.

 

???

When in Obama’s lifetime has this not been true? So again pointless statement…at least until Obama’s policies destroy that hope not only for those in the bleakest poverty but for the middle and upper classes as well.

We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time.

 

Would those be the entitlement programs – what could he be referring to?  Sadly I think he means we need to spend more on entitlements, not less…but this is the idiot who actually said we don’t have a spending problem.

Also is anyone worried that he’s not using “We” so much as the first person plural of “We the people” but rather as the Royal We.

We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher.

 

Really confused now – what remake of the government, what new ideas are required to revamp our tax code – just do it, how does he want to reform our schools, why do citizens need to work harder – does not new ideas and technology allow people to not work harder, and how are we going to make people learn more and reach higher – again personal decisions having nothing to do with government.

 

But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American. That is what this moment requires.

What?  The nation does not reward, it merely provides opportunities and stability.  It is the individual who reaps the just rewards of their efforts.  But Barry clearly thinks that everything you have comes from government and government alone.

 

That is what will give real meaning to our creed.

 

What? Thought we already had meaning to our creed?

 

We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity.

When did we, the people always believe that? Dignity is open to all but must be earned and lived not given unless he really means that everyone should be treated with common courtesy but again not sure there is a right to that. No one is ever guaranteed security and no country can provide that for all individuals all of the time – again personal responsibility plays a large part in this concept.

 

We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit.

 

Well that was what the Health Care Initiative was supposed to do but all thinking individuals knew that would not be true and any other intervention by government will only continue to make worse (if possible now).  I would love to see Obama and Liberals make the hard choices about the deficit – keeping in mind that the only thing directed in the constitution is defense other than legislature and courts.  All else is open to cuts and elimination.

 

But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.

 

The generation that built this country is probably dead unless he believes that the country was not built until after WWII and the federal government is not responsible for investing in future generations that would be up to states (infrastructure).  If you really cared about future generations you would cut drastically all parts of the federal government.

 

For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn.

 

 My grandparents were responsible for taking care of themselves or were taken care of by their children – whom is he talking about?  Parents of a child with a disability is a tough issue but still not a federal government issue and should be handled by local communities, charities, individuals not federal government.

 

We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few.

 

Freedom is for everyone – what they do with it and the consequences of their choices is their responsibility – happiness is never guaranteed only the freedom to pursue it as long as your pursuit harms no others but the liberal and current administration’s pursuits are harming many including the whole middle class.

 

We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

No this hurts others who now have to share in their bad fortune (most often caused by bad decisions) by alleviating them from any personal responsibility and all of us shouldering it for them.  And no I do not recognize that I am merely subject to the whims of fate.  If I lose a job I have an education that I can fall back on…or not because I made short sighted choices.  Illness is seldom sudden or completely detached from my choices.  And terrible storms tend to be in direct relation to where I CHOOSE to live.  My life, everyone’s life, is the result of their choices, not the victim of fate.

And no those entitlement you mention do weaken us, they along with welfare offer incentives to think only short term, to make bad choices and to live in a way where you do not work for yourself.

 

We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity.

 

If an individual makes good choices for themselves they will benefit and thus so does posterity.

 

We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.

 

 By destroying our children’s financial potential/security, destroying the future of America by not being able to financially continue all to try and control what is an act of nature and cannot be affected or impacted greatly by people. Wow, sure demonstrates the ability to understand cost/benefit ratio/value.

Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.

 

That has occurred from the beginning of time called weather cycles – that’s life – get used to it.  The overwhelming judgment of science is that it is a natural cycle not the cause of man.  Just because you claim you have science on your side doesn’t make it so. But as one of your ideals once pointed out, the bigger the lie the more people will believe it.

 

The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.

 

 What? Really? How? This is for business to decide, not government, constitution does not allow for this type of intervention or financing.  All this does is make Obama’s friends rich and Americans poorer.

 

We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.

 

And from all of your actions it seems your answer to ending war is to side with the most abhorrent nations on Earth.

 

We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are naive about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice – not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice.

 

Is he saying we are responsible for the people of the world? By supporting Islam does this not conflict with supporting democracy and freedom?  “Peace in our Time” Wow does he know the implications of that statement – did he study history – does he know who Chamberlain is?? Scary this could be a foretelling……

Also, does anyone find it odd that he says we need to support democracy in the Middle East?  There are two democracies in the Middle East, Iraq, which he abandoned and may collapse any day, and Israel which he back stabs on a daily basis.

 

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

I like that we are inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth just two paragraphs after saying we’re going to stop wars to liberate people.

 

 

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.

 

 That is interesting phrasing – do all men earn a living equal to their efforts – does our President and elected officials earn a living equal to their efforts? Very subjective phrasing – not sure how you enforce that one.  Also does he know anything about economics…that women earn more than their males counterparts for equal work with equal experience and equal education?

Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

 

That would be Civil Unions under the law – contract law – marriage is a religious issue and government should not get involved.  Also this is again, a state’s rights issue…I know Barry doesn’t believe states have rights but they do.

Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.

 

What??  How about until no citizen’s vote is cancelled out by the Democratic parties massive history of voter fraud?

Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity;

 

Okay, but you the Democratic party has continually voted against real immigration reform, opening up visas for those with education and looking for work.  But all you want is to let in more people who don’t have a job or the education to get one, make them dependant on your handouts and vote for more.  Hopeful immigrants come looking for a nation of law, you can’t believe in a nation of law if your first act here is to break it.

 until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.

 

That would be because he does not want laws that allow for them to pay their own way and then apply to stay and benefit themselves and America.

 

Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.

 

How exactly do you accomplish this one?  Because by mentioning Newton it suggests he means the very gun control which would put them in even greater danger.

 

That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American.

 

They already are except for your interference – what would be nicer is if you would stop trying to change America and let us be the best we can on our own!

 

Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.

 

Exactly how do you define liberty in several ways?  It really worries me when politicians begin redefining words that are key concepts in your most basic right.  Does the right to freedom of the press now mean they have the liberty to print what the government approves?  Perhaps my liberty to own a gun mean only that as a member of society if the government owns guns, then I own them, and thus my right has been fulfilled…personal ownership why would you need that?

 

For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay.

 

 Great, what decisions??  Also, if you were to read the Constitution and the other Founding Documents you might see how that the system was designed on the principle of delay, of thoughtful action, of compromise and debate.  Swift action by anyone one man is exactly what they didn’t want.

We cannot mistake absolutism for principle,

 

Again WHAT?

 

 or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.

 

A specialty of Obama and Liberals

 

We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect.

Good start already – it won’t probably work…..actually Barry your work will be perfect it will be the very definition of perfect failure.

 

We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.

He means fix what destruction he caused in 8 years

 

My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream.

 

“during the duration of our service” Our?  There’s that royal We again.  Also the oath isn’t recited it is spoken, to recite is to say words without thinking of their meaning…you know what this ass did.

 

My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride.

I personally have never noticed any of the pride with the flag from him or Michelle

 

They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope.

You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course.

 

No we have a course set by Constitution – we have the power to change it but I really don’t think that will happen anytime soon.

 

You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.

 

 Would that also require stopping illegal voting and fraud and instituting voter ID.

Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.

 

Soaring words for a petty dictator.

 

Thank you, God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.

 Adults Reagan and Thatcher

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The Call For Common Sense Gun Laws & Other Such Silliness

In amongst all of this brouhaha, there are some claims that we can all agree on “common sense gun control.”  And this sounds reasonable.  More strenuous background checks, preventing the mentally ill from getting guns, and the like.  Of course all of these measures must be implemented by the government.  You know the same government that gave the very guns it’s now claiming should be banned to Mexican Drug Cartels.  I’m sorry but I would give a schizophrenic a gun before I give a gun to drug cartels (with the schizophrenic you might have a 50/50 chance they won’t do anything, with the cartels you have a 100% chance that mass murder will occur).

But I do believe in common sense gun control.

406015_10200475871483856_1186033546_nI believe in common sense gun control…but common sense gun control can only be instituted by a government that has common sense that means common sense spending, which means you do not spend more than you have. You do not believe that you can spend your way out of debt or into prosperity.  Common sense requires that you ignore everything idiots like Krugman, Bernake, Geithner, Lew, and Keynes have ever said because common sense tells you their ideas are harmful and idiotic.  Obviously I can’t trust the government to institute common sense spending.

Common sense gun control can only be instituted by a government that has common sense that means common sense taxation.  It means you recognize that raising taxes on the rich will not solve anything, that if you raised taxes on the rich to 100% it wouldn’t begin to make even a dent in our year to year budget (let alone the complete national debt).  Common sense taxation would show that the entire code is far far too complicated.  Common sense taxation requires that you recognize that taxes only hurt the economy and never help, that they must all be cut and cut drastically if we are to get out of our problems.  Obviously I can’t trust the government to institute common sense taxation.

Common sense gun control can only be instituted by a government that has common sense that means common sense regulation, which means understanding that regulations only harm, and that a government that has the best interest of the people and the economy in mind will only have the bare minimum amount of regulation.  Obviously I can’t trust the government to institute common sense regulation.

Common sense gun control can only be instituted by a government that has common sense that means common sense foreign policy which means understanding that isolation is both foolish and immoral…and that the only thing more foolish would be to engage in getting rid of the bad guys without a plan (Bush) or being the ally of the very nations which are out to kill us (Obama).  Thus using common sense you would never allow lunatics like Hagel, Kerry, Brennan near our foreign policy infrastructure. Obviously I can’t trust the government to institute common sense foreign policy.

Common sense gun control can only be instituted by a government that has common sense that means common sense legislation.  Common sense legislature would not include bills longer than Russian novels or being told that you have to pass something to know what’s in it.  Obviously I can’t trust the government to institute common sense legislation.

Reagan Guns

If only his whiny and worthless excuse for a conservative press secretary could have had as much character.

Common sense gun control can only be instituted by a government that has common sense that means common sense immigration.  That would include things like real border security, real reform that allows workers to come in as guests, professionals to come in with an easy way to Visas and citizenship, stopping anchor babies and allowing immigrants to take handout from entitlements.   Lots of things. It would not include amnesty and Dream Acts via illegal executive order.  Obviously I can’t trust the government to institute common sense immigration.

Common sense gun control can only be instituted by a government that has common sense that means common sense  welfare.  That would mean work and education requirements.  Time limits.  Working to roll back the rolls not expand.  Working to make more people get off welfare not get on.  You can’t praise the life of the utterly indefensible Julia and you can’t roll back work requirements.  Obviously I can’t trust the government to institute common sense welfare.

Until then there is no such thing as common sense gun control because even the most reasonable proposals will be carried out by over paid, over educated, life long bureaucratic idiots and will always be carried out to a very non-common sense, illogical and harmful extreme.

Common sense gun laws wouldn’t depend on gun free zone which we all know don’t work.

It wouldn’t be championed by people from the most violent cities with the strictest gun laws that show beyond a doubt that gun laws don’t work.  (Oh and before you begin with that, but they get their guns in places without those gun laws arguments…one needs to ask why isn’t the crime just as high in those places with the lax laws?  Oh maybe because in those places criminals know people will shoot back).

Common sense gun laws may sound like “we’re not going to take away your gun if you’re a law-abiding citizen.”  But let’s be honest here, is anyone a law abiding citizen anymore?  With all the federal, state, local laws, regulations, statutes and judgements are you sure you haven’t broken any of them?  Can a human being even be expected to know all of them?  But that might be the point.

But really that might be the point….Anyone remember this scene?

“Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against – then you’ll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now, that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

Common sense gun control would be to enforce the laws you have, not have prosecutions go down 45% from the previous administration. 

And common sense has nothing to do with 23 executive orders that create commission and spend more money but do actually nothing.

Or let’s try this bit of common sense.  Countries like the UK and Australia that don’t allow hand guns have higher violent crime than the US (much much higher).  States and cities with stricter gun laws have more violent crime than those that don’t. There has never been a mass shooting at an NRA meeting or a gun show…there are lots of shooting in gun free zones.  Common sense and statistics tells us that John Lott was right, “More guns, less crime.”  But that would just be common sense.


So don’t talk to me about common sense gun laws until you have a government that can enforce common sense gun laws.  Until then I, and you, are safest when we are armed and able to defend ourselves.

But maybe we should just listen to the inherent argument for gun control and why it isn’t needed for to protect us from the government.

(1) Our government would never ignore the rights enumerated in the Constitution so we don’t have to worry about needing guns to defend ourselves against the government

(2) Therefore we don’t need guns.

(3) Since we don’t need guns the government should confiscate them, to hell if it’s a right enumerated in the Constitution, ignore it.

(4) What do you mean you see a contradiction between points 1 and 3? I can’t hear you LALALALALALALALALA!

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The Life in Exile

As our disappointing and disgusting President holds his news conference on gun violence today, Barack Obama will employ a tactic we’ve seen throughout history. He is shameless and lacks even the slightest bit of discretion when it comes to sensitive matters. Political capital outweighs all else!

Mr. Obama’s plan of surrounding himself with children upon presenting his proposals for attacking the Second Amendment is not a first!….

Hitlerchildren

STALIN and Children

Mao-waving-children

fidel-castro-meets-school-children-1959

painting featuring North Korean leader Kim Jong Il with young girls

2011-02-12T234545Z_01_CAR10_RTRIDSP_0_VENEZUELA

You’re in good company, Mr. President!….

20130116-172702.jpg

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BiWeekly Meditation–Looking for the Win-Win Solution

“[Adam] Smith noted that in all transactions, both parties come out better for it.”–Republicans And Reincarnation 

Weekly Meditation: The Sixth Chakra.


Okay, first let me say that I’m switching to bi weekly mediations.  I’ve been doing this for two year and (taking the few weeks I skipped) that’s about 100 meditations, (That’s a lot of meditations) if you need something to focus on to center your mind, it’s not like they have a shelf life and go bad after two weeks.  So rather than keep coming up with stuff every week, I’m going to switch to doing these every other week.

And I think that works out best for everyone, it allows me to take more time to plan these, and you more time to get something out of every meditations.

It’s a win-win.  Which happens to be the theme of this meditation.

As many of my more loyal readers know, I am a huge fan of capitalism.  And besides the fact that it’s the only system that works and is sustainable, there are all the ethical reasons I support capitalism.  One of them is that capitalism is the only system that allows for a win-win scenario. Every honest transaction in capitalism benefits both the seller and the buyer–you both get something you want and you both make your lives better for it.  It’s why this system is the only one that creates prosperity, creates wealth, creates ideas and innovation, and creates a better society.  It’s a system where no one has to lose.  Every other system there HAS TO BE a loser, with liberty and true capitalism the only losers are the ones who don’t engage in the system of free exchange and try to be the most virtuous person they can.  It is the system that models the growth of our souls to enlightenment, everyone can get there, but it is only by choice, work and will power they will.*

But one of the reasons I think so many people are opposed to it is because they are stuck in a win-lose mind set.  They think that every situation has to have a winner and a loser.  If you’re doing better I’m doing worse.  In reality this isn’t so.  With the exception of the artificial nature of sports, life doesn’t have to be about winners and losers.  If one company does well it doesn’t mean its competition must fail, it only means that its competition must adapt, possibly by improving their product, possibly by going in a new direction…and the consumer benefits from both (Microsoft AND Apple seem to be doing well, as well as they myriad of companies that benefit because they do well and the chain of thought goes on and on). Just because you get a promotion doesn’t mean I lost, I now have further opportunities to shine, and I don’t have to feel pressured by the comparison (or a thousand other ways to look at it…a lot of situations come down to how we choose to interpret them and react to them.  If you look at most situations as opportunities, you will seldom find a loss).

But let’s be honest, since there are people with the win-lose attitude instead of the win-win attitude, it does spill into our lives whether we want it or not.  So we have to show people that there are win-win solutions where we can find them.  We have to look for them, we have to propose them to those around us, and we have to convince people.  But the first part of this is that we have to look for them.  So I would recommend either in the evening to spend ten to twenty minutes reviewing all the situations you had during the day that devolved into win-lose situations (or the morning to look back on the previous day).  Look for the ways that they could have been win-win solutions for all involved.  Run it through your mind for to see if there were multiple ways it could have been a win-win.  And do this not with guilt or self-recrimination.  You’re looking at this to get you mind in the habit of looking for win-win opportunities, not to chide yourself for not seeing them at the time they occurred.  The only way you’re going to be being to see them as they occur is if your review previous encounters and see what other possibilities were open that you did not see at the time. And, like so many of these meditations, isn’t something you’re not going to pick up immediately.  It’s a skill that needs to be nurtured, refined, and practiced before you get really good at it.

Now, I do need to point out that just because you can see the win-win solution it does not mean you can convince others.  I remember a time I tried to help someone with a project at work and they incredibly behind on.  This person at first attacked me because they saw my attempt to help them get through the project faster as an insult and responded rather angrily with comments like “I said I’ll get it done and I’ll get it done” (even though they were past the deadline) and then told me “if you want to do this all, fine, I would rather be doing something else.”  This person saw only the win-lose, either they did all the work, or I did all the work, only one person gets free time (yes this had bled into working on the weekend).  It became clear that the win-win of if we both do this we’d both get out of here quickly wasn’t open to this person.  So I shut down my computer, went home, and finished the project later that night when the portion I was waiting on was finished.  If it’s going to be win-lose, I have no intention of being the loser.  And it is at this point that you need to understand if someone makes it clear that there is only a win-lose situation, you should not act like a martyr and think that you should be the one to lose.  Like the Constitution, spiritual enlightenment, is not a suicide pact.  If it’s going to be win-lose, and you’re tried to make an attempt to show any win-win opportunities you can think of, if it is the other person choosing the losing philosophy don’t let yourself be harmed by it.

 

So for the next two weeks look for the win-win opportunities and see you can reduce the stress and increase the moments of peace (and maybe even enlightenment) in your life.

*Okay there might be divine grace in there too, but that has no parallel in any economic system…unless we want to get into voluntary charity, which again is a liberty/capitalism thing.

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International Liberty

I’ve frequently commented on Europe’s fiscal mess and argued that excessive government spending is responsible for both the sovereign debt crisis and the economic stagnation that plagues the continent.

But it does seem that things have calmed down, so the readers who have submitted questions about whether the fiscal crisis has ended obviously are paying attention.

I have two responses.

  • My first answer is very mature and thoughtful: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, are you ;@($&^#’% kidding me?
  • My second answer is a bit more guarded and circumspect: No. To be more specific, the immediate crisis may have slightly abated, but I have no confidence that the long-run problem has been solved.

But let me start with some good news. Most of the hard-hit European nations have finally begun the cut spending. And when I say cut spending, I mean they actually spent less in 2011 than they did in 2010 (unlike…

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How I judge if a book is conservative

How to judge if something is conservative?

So I talk a lot about movies and books. And I claim that a lot of them have conservative themes.  And this confuses some people because they can’t quite figure out what I mean when the movie/book isn’t explicitly endorsing America, capitalism, and limited government.  It’s sometimes hard to remember that there are more basic principles at the heart of this movement than just the form it takes now in the news.

So here to help everyone here are principles I look for on whether or not to call something conservative.

First and foremost it has to coincide with those Aristotelian cardinal virtues:

Prudence: The Wisdom to know what course should be taken

Temperateness: The control to know and act in the right degree

Fortitude: The courage and will to do what is right

Justice: Giving people what they have earned

And with the theological virtues

Faith

Hope

Charity

Most often these virtues are seen (or not seen) in the heroes of the story.  For instance most Bond films would not be considered conservative because our hero over indulges in everything (booze, women, gambling, cheap theatrics), nor would Le Carr’s Smilely who under indulges in just about everything, both lack certain sense of temperance and prudence.

Now in terms of more thematic material I look for a few things:

The power of faith and redemption (the two have to go together for it be conservative)

The importance of Happiness in human life (but only if it’s a full Aristotelian vision of happiness)

The importance of natural rights (not made up rights)

Anything that praises reason

The power of personal charity and compassion

That there is good and evil in the world and evil need to be fought and defeated

And anything dealing with the following government issues:

The power of liberty

The stupidity/corruption of government

The need to stand up against tyranny (but it is not enough to oppose tyranny if you have no indication of what you’re going to replace it with, or if you’re going to replace it with something worse, like the pro-Anarchy themes of V for Vendetta) .

Anything that praises capitalism

And obviously no liberal ideology is endorsed.

So if anyone wonders, this is how I determine if a movie or book is conservative or not.

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The best and worst movies of 2012

So I have had time to reflect on the few gems among the tripe from this year and once again prepared to offer my Top 10 List of movies of 2012. And like previous years,  I can’t find 10.

I was hoping for a full list this year. But The Hobbit ran too long, focused too much on dwarves eating, paid more attention to effects than character, and then didn’t have an ending. I wanted a dragon, goddamnit, not as a tease but as a character! The Odd Life of Timothy Green was cute, would make a good date movie, but I can’t justify it on a top list. Red Dawn was great in terms of the patriotism and mood, but I’ll admit the production quality, while certainly higher than the first, is still a bit shaky. Brave, while well done, is not as good as some of its other Pixar counterparts. And I know I may be the only one, but I find John Carter endlessly entertaining.

Now just as a quick reminder I have 4 criteria for great art.
Remember I have 4 basic criteria for great art.
1. It must be enjoyable (I have some kind of positive emotional reaction)…so that throws out most of the critic’s picks out.

2. It must understand human nature
3. It must use the tools of the medium well
4. It must have a meaningful and correct theme.

So here we go. The top 7 films of 2012. (For the movies that I’ve done full reviews of, I have them linked in the titles.)

#7. Cabin in the Woods

“Cleanse them. Cleanse the world of their ignorance and sin. Bathe them in the crimson of – Am I on speakerphone?”

Usually you wouldn’t see a horror movie on any top list because it’s a silly genre. But Cabin in the Woods is a merciless critique of the horror genre and all its stupid tropes. And it is done with wit, with skill and with a wonderful mocking of the horror genre.
This is obviously a little weak at meeting my 4 criteria, but it’s lambasting a genre that never lives up to them, so I think the weakness comes from the source not the material itself.

The Avengers6. The Avengers

“With everything that’s happening, the things that are about to come to light, people might just need a little old fashioned.”

We all love this film. We all waited for the several years for it to come out. We doubted if it would be any good after we saw how bad Captain America was. But Whedon pulled it out and gave a film that was not only entreating but developed the characters in ways we had not seen in the previous films.

Right, wrong, or indifferent, comic book characters have replaced the myths and legends that pervious societies used to convey ideals of heroism and virtue, and for all the flaws of the individual Avengers, we see something to strive for in terms of human nature within them.

M Bond5. Skyfall

M: Not very comfortable, is it?
Bond: You gonna complain all the way?
M: Go on! Eject me! See if I care!

I would say this is both the best Craig Bond film yet, and the most mature Bond film of all time (I still say that GoldenEye is the best Bond, but that is certainly up for debate). The movie offers us a deeply moving closure to the Bond/M relationship, a chance for Bond to grow as a person, and of course all the final pieces of the Bond mythology (Moneypenny, Q, Martini’s shaken not stirred, not to mention the car from Goldfinger). And at last we had a Bond villain that was both frightening and over the top in the way only a Bond villain can be.

Its only flaw is that it didn’t continue with the plot that the last two films with the Quantum (SPECTRE?) organization. Just one line from Bardem of “I got information from your friends at Quantum, they really hate you Mr. Bond” or something like those lines, it would have kept the plot line alive without ruining the pacing of the film. I can only hope we come back to this plot in the next film.

Now some have complained about the pacing of this film, but I think it’s because they made this film a five act story instead of the three acts we have become so used to. It’s a more complex story requiring a more complex structure.

But this movie quotes my favorite part of my favorite poem. How can I not love that:

Though much is taken, much abides, and though we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are… One equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

4. Trouble with the Curve

Trouble with the Curve
“Now get out of here before I have a heart attack trying to kill you.”

Not Eastwood’s best performance of the year (that would involve a chair), but it is still a great movie. It serves as a great counterpart to last year’s best film Moneyball. Moneyball showed up that in life we must adapt or die. Trouble with the Curve shows that any new innovation shouldn’t throw out all the old tried and true methods—that life is more than just numbers. That there needs to be balance. And it does this with three very unbalanced characters who together grow and learn from each other.

Okay those are the also rans who are on the list because a Top 3 would be rather sad…now let’s get to the three I actually had a hard time ordering.

3. ArgoArgo

“Bad news, bad news. Even when it’s good news, it’s bad news. John Wayne in the ground 6 months and this is what is left of America.”

This is the movie that the best director Academy Award should have gone to (stupid Academy). Affleck manages to have this movie go from a good thriller to a hilarious dark comedy and back to great thriller seamlessly. The skill required to take the tone of movie in radically different directions without making it jarring or seem forced is something most directors are smart enough to not even try. Affleck does it without flaw.
Maybe it’s that Hollywood hates Ben Affleck. Yes he’s made some very questionable acting choices (he’s not a terrible actor but he does pick terrible scripts on occasion). But between Gone Baby, Gone, The Town, and now Argo Affleck has cemented in my mind as one of the great actors of this generation. While I disagree with him on most politics I am more pleased that he is not running for the Senate because this means there will still be more great movies to come.
Anyway Argo is a great film. It shows the creativity of our people in the intelligence services. It shows the unscrupulous and inept people whom an anti-Semite like Carter surrounded himself with (oh, let’s leave them all hanging because of the optics on a mission). Affleck manages to gives us excellent characterization on a large cast for a movie this short. The only reason I would say that this is not the best film is that the theme of this film is not as momentous as the next two films.

2. The Dark Knight Risesdark-knight-rises-cast-1920x1080

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

Christopher Nolan outdid himself again with this film. In this retelling of A Tale of Two Cities we have a skillful critique of the philosophy that says all wealth is evil and an equally damning critique of those who would use this lie to gain power over. And to top it off they give us a philosophical discussion of the nature of fear, heroism and living the good life. I only give Affleck my call for best director by mere fractions due to his ability to switch tones in the film so well, but Nolan is also a truly great director who took a story that was little more than fluff and action and gave us three films of depth and soul. He made us care about Bruce Wayne the person, not just the costume, and he showed us what a hero is and can be.
This film should win best screenplay, but again I fear it won’t.

1. Les Miserables

“To love another person is to see the face of God.”

Les Miserables Posters
This film does stand a good chance of winning the best picture award it so richly deserves. While I have previously commented on some flaws in the directing and editing this movie still soars above the rest. It gives us salvation and redemption, tragedy and comedy, passion and vengeance. And it does it in possibly the hardest form to work in, the musical. It is without question the best film of 2012.

So what was the worst film of 2012? Promised Land for bad politics? Lincoln for finally proving Spielberg has only hype left and no talent? Life of Pi for taking a book with an infantile understanding of religion and spirituality (I liked the points it made, but it made them so poorly) and let it be directed by one of film’s worst directors? Taken 2 for the plot line of, dad didn’t want daughter to go to Paris because it’s unsafe, but hey, let’s have a family get together in Istanbul, because that’s gotta be safe? Atlas Shrugged II for being even more poorly made than the first even though it had more money (oh please let them recast everyone again for the third)? Cloud Atlas for being a pretentious and tedious attempt to redo The Fountain? Zero Dark Thirty for breaking more federal intelligence laws than any other film in history? Twilight for, well, being Twilight? The Lorax for being useless bullshit? Safe House and Flight for making me realize the glory days of Denzel are over, and I have no hope of them coming back.

No this dishonor of worst film of 2012 goes to Prometheus. Prometheus? Yes, Prometheus. This may come as a bit of a shock. After all, while not the best prequel ever, it wasn’t that bad. It was a great thriller, kept me on the edge of the seat nearly the entire time. It had some pretty good character development. It was well done. So why is it the worst film of the year? Well first I thought the movie was flawed because it asked massive questions about the nature of life, the universe and everything…but it failed to provide even a hint of answer. Which made it unbelievably dissatisfying. But that was only why it wasn’t going on the top of the list. Little did I know when I first saw it that there were answers in the original script. I’m not going to go into how bizarre these answers are, (I only have two words and a link, follow at your own risk: Space Jesus ) but let me just say that if that was the original intent of Ridley Scott then this is by far the dumbest movie I have ever heard of. Ridley Scott has made some of the best films ever created… this is not one of them.

Which movies am I looking forward to?
A Good Day To Die Hard (Mindless fun), 42 (could be pointlessly preachy, I hope not), Oblivion (I’m still unsure what this is about), Iron Man 3 (mindless fun), Thor 2 (mindless fun), Much Ado About Nothing (Whedon does Shakespeare, need I say more), Man of Steel (Nolan please give me a fourth great superhero movie), Red 2 (mindless fun), Ender’s Game (this all depends on the visuals for the game).

As you can see not exactly a list composed primarily of deep films. So it will be a short list again next year in all likelihood.

What do I have no intention of seeing?
Star Trek and Hangover III

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