Category Archives: London Riots

“The Debt” A tragic masterpiece

As it was the first movie in weeks even worth considering going to see, I saw The Debt this weekend. I was not disappointed. While not the big explosion, all around fun movie you usually expect around this time of year, The Debt is a moving tragedy that forces the viewer to ask some very weighty questions about heroism, cowardice, truth, evil and pacifism.
I’m going to split this blog into two parts, the first being a more general praise of its style that won’t ruin anything and then a more spoiler filled discussion of its themes. Usually I don’t care about spoilers as I know plot is the most meaningless and least important part of any good story, but there is a certain emotional gut kick that comes with seeing this movie without knowing what will happen (something so lacking in modern movies and books) that I do not want to ruin for you.
First and foremost what immediately struck me was that the movie was being directed by someone who knew what a camera was for. There was none of the random, slipshod, quick and numerous cuts that define so many hack directors. This is one of the few movies in the last decade where cinematography and editing skill are actually apparent without overpowering the characters and theme.
The story itself, if you don’t know already takes place during two different time periods. The early time period is in 1966 where three members of the Israeli Mossad have been sent to capture the Nazi war criminal “the Surgeon of Birkenau” (a thinly disguised fictional version of Mengele) from East Berlin and send him for trial in Israel. They return to Israel, reporting their mission was a partial failure as they were forced to kill their target when unable to get him out of East Berlin. Thirty years later, having lived with the complete failure of their mission, they are threatened by the full truth coming out.
This story involving espionage and deceptions offers a lot for the actors to work with, and there should be several academy award nominations coming out of this, most notably for Helen Mirren and Jessica Chastain in the portrayal of Rachel Singer, the movies’ main character. I think Chastain probably gave a slightly better performance, but this was partly because she had more screen time. (This is at least a rarity in Hollywood I now have two women in the best actress category to root for this year…all but unheard of in the misogynistic wasteland that is Hollywood). The acting job of Jesper Christiansen provided one of the most sociopathically evil Nazi’s to grace the screen in years (although it did not surpass the gold standard of evil set by Gregory Peck in The Boys from Brazil, it came disturbingly close). And while nothing in this movie caused me to change my absolute hatred of Sam Worthington and all his characters, at least in this case the character was a coward and morally responsible for most of the problems in the movie, so I was justified in my hatred in this case (every other movie Worthington has done I’ve merely been justified by the fact that those movies are complete wastes of film).
In every respect that one can judge a movie this movie is a superior film. Its themes are powerful and its performance superb. I would wager that this movie will deservedly gain a best picture nomination, and if nothing better comes out this year it should win best picture. You need to see this movie. Every other this year has been a rental or worth seeing on the big screen only because it was mildly enjoyable and it was worth seeing the special effects on the big screen. This movie is truly great art and if we are ever going to convince Hollywood to make more movies like this then we have to encourage them with ticket sale at the box office. Go see this movie.
Now one may wonder why, as opposed to most political themed movies I didn’t title this “Movies for Conservatives”? After all this movie deals with the consequence of deception to one’s character and life. It deals with the absolute evil of socialism (yes, Nazism—National Socialism—is socialism, and butchers like the one seen in this movie are its inevitable conclusions) and the hatred and perverted creatures it breeds. It deals with the toll that lies take on ones soul, and of course how it becomes an impossible debt to pay (yes there is a reason for the title). All things I would like to think go hand in hand with conservative values…but I’m just not cynical enough to say that these are only conservative values…I hope.

Spoilers ahead….please go see the movie first; these reflections make more sense when you have the whole scope of the film in your mind.

No, really go see it first.

Okay you were warned, don’t blame me if you don’t feel the full force of the movie.

The movie deals with several weighty themes. The first and most important is the nature of truth and lies. Our three main characters tell a lie about their failure, a lie they know will never be challenged, a lie that is meant to help their country…is it worth it? One looks at real history and sees that Mengele escaped justice in real life and how this is a black mark, not just on Israel, but on the civilized world as a whole that we let this piece of trash die living in relative freedom never having to face his crimes. What does this say about our competence, our character, our resolve in the face of evil. This is a man who earned the name “Angel of Death” and we let him live in freedom and die of old age. (And even worse, if you’re a Nazi who knew even the first thing about firing rockets we gave you a free pass and U.S. citizenship). Makes you wonder what civilization is worth if we allow such unquestionable evil to go unpunished (it’s not like we didn’t know where they were). Might it be more comfortable if we thought as a country—be it Israel or the U.S.—had stood for something and actually tracked these monsters down? When the characters were debating telling the lie about their complete failure I heard overtones of the equally political film The Dark Knight and the last few scenes where is was pointed out that “Sometimes people need to have their faith rewarded” even at the cost of a lie. One of the better reviews I saw for this movie brought up the Churchill quote “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies,” and it wouldn’t be hard to make the argument that Israel has in reality been in a perpetual state of war against barbarians at its gates from the first day of its creation, and that its population was always in need of a moral boost. (Yes I said barbarians, and my only apology is to the ancient culture who had that name applied to them who understood reason, civilization, and humanity far more than then the wretches in Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya and the quite fictional state of Palestine). However this is all sophistry at some level. But it’s a sophistry the writers and director of this The Debt wanted you to indulge in. Only then does it become evident how apparent and how valuable the truth is. It is something that is so easily rationalized away, always in the name of greater values and higher purposes…and always at the cost of one’s soul, as even the most amoral of the three has trouble living with the lie…especially because “but at the length truth will out” and demand the debt that needs to be paid.
Next is the question and nature of evil. The villain of this movie (or at least the main one) is the Mengele type Nazi. For a great deal of the film he demonstrates that banality of evil Ardent noticed in Eichmann’s trial (although seeing a Nazi work as an OBGYN adds a whole new level of disgusting I hardly thought possible). But he is at his most horrendous when he begins to toy with his captors, taunt them, and use them even though he is the one tied up. Really, there was a point that I don’t think a person in the theater wouldn’t have gladly beat that son of bitch to death with a crowbar given the chance—and felt justified in doing it. But the worst part is when he says something you can’t deny. It’s one of the great tricks of literature to put truth (or at least half-truths) in the mouths of evil because it forces us to confront things which we might not want to. At one point the Nazi states that he knew the Nazi’s had won, (and I’m going from memory here) “When it took only 4 guards to lead thousands to the gas chambers and no one ever fought back—even when we took away your children none ever fought back. That is when I knew we had won.” It is a sick fact of the Holocaust that makes you wonder if it would have been nearly as bad if the Jews had fought back. However the problem here, the evil of this statement, is that it is applied to only the Jews, when the truth is that it was the sickness of Europe. All of Europe didn’t fight back. They didn’t fight Hitler or Mussolini on the continent as they expanded their influence. Austria and Czechoslovakia were taken without firing a single bullet, the French may have fired about a dozen before eagerly capitulating and handing over every Jew they could find with a determination that probably even freaked out the Nazis. It seemed only the Poles (who were hopelessly outnumbered) and the British (who had spent a decade trying to appease the monster) who seemed to have even a mild ability to fight back (and given the recent events in London it appears that whatever streak the British once had to fight evil has been beaten out them). It wasn’t the Jews who didn’t fight back, it was all of Europe. Which only leaves the question…what evils are we not fighting against today, willingly allowing thousands to be led by a handful through fear. (Hint: Hitler promised great change and the hope of a thousand year Reich, and as every German Jew knows nothing can stand in the way of power of millions of voices calling for change).

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Filed under Anti-Semitism, Art, Death, Evils of Liberalism, Faith, Fear, Foreign Policy, Free Will, God, Government is useless, Israel, Libya, London Riots, Movies, Movies for Conservatives, politics, The Dark Knight, Tyranny, War on Terrorism

More reflections on London

Something I realized I didn’t deal with in the last article. How are we going to deal with the possibility of rioters?

Let me just say I’m not thrilled with a lot of the options.

I’ve heard shutting down social media, I’ve seen San Francisco actually shutting down the internet (always hand it to liberals to be the first to act like this is a Reich and not a republic) . I’ve even heard using thick oil based paint that is near impossible to wash off on the rioters and just pick them up a couple days later.

I understand why all of these might be suggested. I understand the fear of chaos, the desire to protect the innocent, the want to maintain stability before it degenerates. But these things can never be allowed to happen.

As much as these might seem like solutions, and as funny as the images of rioters covered in pink paint for days might be, this is a cure that’s worse than the disease.

These are the tactics of dictators, tyrant and despots. These tactics could just as soon be used against those peacefully protesting, those engaging in true civil disobedience (emphasis on the civil). Communication cannot be shut down, because for all of the terrible things it does, it brings more good into the world. Tyranny cannot long survive in an open society where people can voice their displeasure. And for better or for worse history tells us that right now, a period of economic instability, is the perfect breeding ground for a tyranny. A weapon like this that could be used against a just and peaceful protest cannot be allowed under any circumstances (quite frankly the people who shut down the internet in San Fran need to be jailed immediately as a warning to others not to try that again). In the end these are tools governments can never, under any circumstances, be allowed to use because it will always end with an outright abridgment of freedoms for all.

Now, however, once a riot starts, all bets are off. I suggest we make it quite clear that from now on we’ll skip the tear gas, the water hoses, and the rubber bullets. We need to go straight to the SWAT snipers with real bullets. Once you start breaking the law and threatening others lives and property you have put yourself outside the protection of the law and into a state of war, you have no right and no expectation of protection. And it may be cruel but a few dead rioters will cause the riot to disperse and thus save more lives, more property, and more rights of the innocent.

And if police want to monitor open Facebook and Twitter accounts, fine. If they’re open then you have no expectation of privacy. If they’re closed they need a warrant…although if they’re closed and were used to plan mobs or riots of any form, that private nature should be considered conspiracy in the legal sense and added to the charges against the rioters.

(although rioters covered in pink paint is still funny, but it will have to remain in my mind’s eye).

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Filed under Evils of Liberalism, First Amendment, Government is corrupt, London Riots, Tyranny

Some reflections on London

I really hate doing this blog. I love the British. I love what they have given to the world in terms of literature, law and philosophy. I love that you could always point to their beyond exemplary behavior during the blitz as a standard by which all of humanity should aspire to in terms of character, courage and determination in the face of absolute evil (and just so we’re clear on what that means to me, let me be clear that as much as I love what America stands for I don’t think the mass populace of America at any point in time would have behaved as admirably as the British did if we were subject to similar hardships. We would probably behave more like the f!@#$%^ French.) But as much as I hate doing this, I need to comment on the absolutely disgraceful behavior of the British, especially Londoners.

What caused it?

Well whatever sparked the actual start of the riots, be it the claims of an act of the police shooting someone or something we have yet to learn about, it doesn’t really matter. There are clearly far deeper aspects here, probably best captured by the BBC when they interviewed one of the degenerate rioters who actually had the honesty (stupidity?) to voice her brainless opinion, “It’s the people who have all got businesses. That’s why all this is happening, because of the rich people.” Class warfare. You have to love the childish petulance of the mentality that says “I don’t have anything so I’m going to destroy what you have.” One might hope that witnesses to the violence and devastation would have made the woman who said this have a fleeting thought go through her brain about what her actions and words caused, but I doubt it—I can only be left with the hope that something else went through her brain, preferably made of lead, entering and exiting at a high velocity…and before you ask that would be my attitude to all rioters.

What caused this culture of class warfare and lazy bastards who think they’re entitled to everything?
“The Nazi war machine couldn’t break the British, but the modern welfare state has.”—Ann Coulter

It doesn’t take genius to realize that nearly seven decades of one of the most intrusive, socialistic, and wide reaching welfare states in the world would help create an underclass of lazy entitled whiners who think they have a right to everything and can even destroy the property of others. But this isn’t purely a British problem—it’s a liberal and socialist one. Just look at every time you have any organization that is even vaguely pro-capitalism has a meeting. There are whining little liberals burning things, breaking things, requiring that riot police, tear gas and water hoses be brought out. Now look what happened when the right gets together: you have a Tea Party meeting where people dress up like they’re a colonialist with those funny looking tri-corner hats. Notice the difference, liberals destroy things, conservatives don’t. Maybe it’s just a recent phenomenon….let’s go back to say the 1930’s…wasn’t there a group deeply died to the Democratic Party in the South, I think their name began with a “K”, ended with a “K” and maybe had a “K” in the middle. Okay so liberal violence isn’t all that new. But there were examples of the right being violent back then too, right? Oh wait no, because the people everyone points to as being far right from that time period were the National Socialists—hint to liberals no conservative or right winger in history has advocated the takeover of industry by government or ever used the word socialist to describe themselves, that one goes on the far left also along with communism. And dare we forget that little experiment in socialism in the 1790’s in France? But aside from the historical it can’t be entirely the fault of liberalism, socialism and the welfare for encouraging this kind of violence. When you subsidize, literally reward, dependence on government (all welfare), reward bad choices (all welfare that goes to having children out of wedlock, all medical care for preventable diseases), reward laziness (unemployment), reward low standards (feel good education) and punish good behavior (taxes for people who actually earn money) what do you think is going to happen? Aristotle in Politics envisioned that the state was created to best allow its citizens to achieve happiness, to help create and mold the just and wise person, and foster them in their own personal evolution…the modern welfare state has done the exact opposite, classically-conditioning people to be at their worst. Is that an excuse for their behavior? No, every person has free will and reason and can easily rise above the chains of nature and nurture if they desire to…but neither should we be shocked that people don’t always listen to the best within them and just follow the conditioning presented to them. This is what happens when you treat people like children who are incapable of taking care of themselves; they act like children incapable of taking care of themselves. History more than proves me right on this. From the self-indulgent populace of Rome who would riot whenever they didn’t get their bread and circuses and would support any tyrant who would give it to them, to modern riot masses of Greece, France and Britain. Coming soon the U.S. of A.

What’s to do about this?
Well the logical answer would be to wean people off welfare. World-wide. This sick experiment called socialism has always failed and to believe it will ever work is to exist in a world beyond delusional fantasy. The USA, Britain, all of the EU (and the rest of the world if they know what’s good for them) need to lay out a long term plan, probably over a 20 year period, where all, and I do mean all, nation-wide welfare programs are disbanded. Here in America we need to just scrap social security and Medicaid and Medicare. Other forms of the dole such as homeless shelters, unemployment payments, and basic welfare need to be taken up by local counties and maybe state level governments…all with an eye of pushing private charities, religious organizations, and individuals to take up these aspects of society again and re-humanize charity and compassion. Again these need to be 20 year plans (some programs will probably need 5 to 10, but I think social security is a long term problem. You could kill Medicaid and Medicare completely tomorrow for all I care) to try to avoid the worst symptoms of withdrawal as they are taken out, but these programs at the federal level need to be destroyed.

Now some have quoted a recent study that looked at cut backs in the welfare state and the civil unrest that comes from it. Some may try to dismiss this as foolish liberal propaganda, but I doubt it is. The numbers don’t seem to lie if you actually read the whole report (it will bore you to tears though). What a shock when you cut welfare brat’s entitlements they get angry. Now what conservatives need to take from this is that if only a 2% cut will cause riots (and actually 5% cuts have fewer problems than 2%–more demonstrations, but less riots) then we have two options we cannot cut to avoid these riots or we can cut. If we don’t cut to try and avoid the problem of social unrest, then we’re just putting the problem off for another generation to deal with. Why? Because you can’t just leave things at the status quo and not deal with them. If you just leave funding levels at the exact same amount, then given the growing levels of population, the 2% cut will come anyway because there is not enough to go around to all the new people demanding their entitlement. So the only choice if you want to avoid the riots and strife is to continuously grow the welfare state every year. But what happens after the welfare state grows beyond 100% of what you can tax from working people. See Greece. See the Weimar Republic. Thus our only real choice is to cut, and if we have to cut then let’s get it over with as soon as possible and make it big cuts…oh and deal with rioters in the proper way, with guns. If they want to civilly protest or march or demonstrate, they have that right—they’re bloody stupid, but they have that right. But once it turns violent, once the mob becomes rabid and seeks to destroy what others have created, they have put themselves outside of civilized society and deserve only to be put down. Our only option is to cut.

However, I see a terrible side effect of this study. Many liberals will use this study as a weapon. They will say that we have to grow the welfare state or else violence will erupt. And, watch, they’ll use those words “or else.” They will trade on the fear and terror of the threat of violence and destruction to frighten nations from doing what they have to do to save themselves. They will brandish this “or else” threat not as a pragmatic warning but as a tool to gain more power for their welfare states which allow them to be king of the hill for the moment, the future be damned. Remind me, what do you call people who use the threat of violence to cause terror to get what they want? That’s what you’ll see the liberals in Britain do soon…and the U.S. won’t be far behind.

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Filed under Evils of Liberalism, Fear, Government is useless, London Riots, People Are Stupid, Welfare