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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hunger Games –“May the odds be ever in your favor."

Hunger Games” is the film version of Suzanne Collins' young-adult bestseller about a reality show that pits children (ages 12 to 18) as Gladiator against child Gladiator, in a deathly, survival-of-the-fittest “game” where only one survivor can win.

In her book “Hunger Games,” Collins presents a dystopian society called “Panem” comprised of “haves” and “have nots,” where the majority are alienated and individualism is restricted by the government, drawing similarity to the arguments about the 99%ers to 1%ers of today.  Collins says that she developed the idea from the myth of Theseus where kids were sent to die by a cruel dictator, from the Roman gladiators fighting to the death in the arena, and from being astonished at how people were willing to degrade themselves in TV reality shows.  Panem and the “Games” are presented as a society repressed and controlled by the state, under the guise of being a utopian society.

Every year on Reaping Day, a boy and a girl (ages 12 to 18) from each district are chosen by lottery to fight to the death in a televised gladiator event devised by head Games-maker Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley, from “American Beauty” ), sporting the coolest beard you have ever seen shaped like a crown.  "The Games" were invented by the Capitol of Panem (formerly North America) for the 12 districts whose rebellion against the Capitol rule was crushed more than 74 years ago.  The Capitol is filmed as a “modern-day” city of high rises and cold-concrete buildings where the ruling class live a pampered life of all the finest that is offered.  Napoleonic (originally Greco-Roman) furniture intermixed with contemporary crystal chandeliers add a sense of privilege showing  the images of the Capital (capitalist??) as a people of “haves” that enjoy their daily lives, to be entertained once a year by the Games.  Adding to this sense of entitlement, the residents of the Capital are dressed in modern-day versions of the Court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, with their blue wig-coiffed hair and white blush.  The Capital reeks of decadence and wealth.
Juxtaposed with the opulence of the Capital are the 12 Districts, where poverty and subservience are the norm.  We are introduced to District 12, a coal mining District where the 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), hunts for scraps to feed her sister and her widowed mother.  Residents of District 12 dress in drab greys and do not have enough even to feed themselves.  They are “guarded” by “peacekeepers” dressed in all white much like that in “Star Wars,” who seem in total modern/futuristic contrast to their downtrodden subjects.  It is also a startling resemblance to the police who have put on “riot-gear” to arrest members of OWS and, most recently, George Clooney during his protest over Sudan.
In each of the Districts, watching the Gamers is not an option as it is mandated by the Capital.  We are introduced to Katniss, the renegade hunter who kills with a bow and arrow.  Lawrence, 21, who plays Katniss Everdeen, is an acting dynamo with the skills to let us into Katniss' searching mind. Last year, Lawrence won an Oscar nomination for playing an Ozark girl in "Winter's Bone”.  She dominates the screen and presents a performance that is again Oscar worthy.
During the introduction to the Games where the Tributes (that's what contenders are called) are chosen, Katniss is presented with the moral dilemma of her younger sister being picked as a Tribute for the games.  Rather than let her die, Katniss stands up to take the place of her younger sister in the deadly Games.  In just those first scenes, Lawrence reveals a physical and emotional grace that is astonishing.
Katniss is first shown hunting in the wild forest with her fellow illegal hunter Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth, "The Last Song," with girlfriend Miley Cyrus).  He is a handsome young boy from her District 12, a hunk, with whom she has grown-up.  Hemsworth quickly establishes a strong and appealing Romeo to Lawrence’s Juliet.
She is then paired, for the Games, with, the baker's son, Petta (Josh Hutcherson, "The Kids Are All Right"), a boy who must quickly grow up to be a man.  It is revealed that he has secretly pinned for Katniss most of his life, thus setting up a love triangle with Hemsworth’s Gale.
What sets Hunger Games apart from other movies of the genre is the incredible acting.  In addition to Lawrence, Hutcherson and Hemsworth, the rest of the cast is brilliant.
Stanley Tucci (who needs no introduction), who is always brilliant, is Caesar Flickerman, the reality-TV host, who represents the dark side of Ryan Seacrest in the Game’s lethal version of "American Idol."  He is a demented host of the “Price is Right  takes on Gladiator.  In his blue-coiffed wig, he is both circus master and salesman.
Elizabeth Banks (nearly unrecognizable, from Zack and Miri Make a Porno amongst many others), in a turn as High-School Principal turned “Freddy” from “Halloween”, brings a malicious wit to the bewigged and powdered PR guru Effie Trinket.  "May the odds be ever in your favor," announces Effie with total, and careless sincerity (which, in such a god-less, atheist society, eerily reminds one of the phrase "may God be with you").
In a stellar performance, Woody Harrelson (wearing the best California Hippie wig ever and coming off a fantastic performance in "Game Change") is the drunkard, Haymitch Abernathy, a former victor in the Games now acting as mentor to both Katniss and Peeta.  Haymitch is presented as the troubled victor who is the key to any chance of survival by Kitness and Petta, when he's not falling-down drunk.  In a perfect turn on the 99% vs. 1%, Haymitch instructs his protégés that they must ingratiate themselves to rich sponsors in the Capita, so that during the Games they may receive supplies and medicine as a Tribute wins audience favor.
In a turn of “The Swan” meets “Mad Max’, each of the Tributes is given a fashionista stylist to package and brand their warrior's image and veneer.  Katniss and Petta are “remade” as a his and her “Mercury” by “Cinna (Lenny Kravitz in a great cameo) with flames on fire riding into the Games of a chariot.  For her “beauty-pageant” style question and answer, Cinna , in order to have Katniss stand-out from the other Tributes, creates a dress that bursts into flame at the hem, making Katniss a “favorite” of the crowds.  Mixing beauty with the beast, Katniss is then shown in a test of skill, where, with her bow, she is a modern day Joan of Arc, with her determination and skill.
Finally the stage is set with the “overlord”, the President of Panem , President Snow (masterfully played by Donald Sutherland, who is frightening in his cold-evil).  His cry of "You screwed us, so we'll screw you” sets the perfect anthem for this dystopian society where good has been replaced by evil.  It is truly a “bad place” as is derived from the Greek origin of the word dystopian.
In the vein of today’s reality-celebrity, the Tributes must also learn to play and pander to the cameras.  Formerly shy and somewhat introverted, Katniss is forced to become a smiling Kim Kardashian plying for Sponsor’s attention.  In this false reality one is left to question whether Katniss’s and Petta’s actions are real or fake.  Is Katniss really falling for Peeta as she nurses his wounds, or is she faking it to save them both?
The movie is masterfully shot by Tom Stern ("Mystic River") with the scenes dramatically changing from the dark mining of District 12, to the Marie Antoinette opulence of the Capitol; only to be transported to the stark and brutal landscape of the battle zone.
At 142 minutes, "The Hunger Games" can go from fast paced to dragging; however, director Gary Ross ("Pleasantville," "Seabiscuit") does a good job of keeping the movie true to the book.
“Hunger Games” the movie, which opened on March 23, 2012, is already a huge financial success; yet, is fraught with controversy.  Is the movie original or just a take-off on other movies/books (Battle Royale, 1984, etc.)?  Is the subject matter (children killing other children) appropriate for children?  Do the premises glorify violence and desensitize children to violence?  And, of course, does the movie live up to the book?
While one could debate these points ad nauseum, such debate overlooks the merits of the story in and of itself and disregards the film without commenting upon the cinematic quality of what is presented.  Without belaboring such criticism I would suggest that (acknowledging that I may never convince people who differ):
Is the movie original or just a take-off on other movies/books (Battle Royale, 1984, etc.)?  Many authors borrow heavily from other works and it is fine. Imagine if Lerner and Lowe had tried to sell My Fair Lady as a wholly original work without acknowledging that it was an adaptation of G.B. Shaw's Pygmallion which itself is an adaptation of a Greekmyth.  Julia RobertsPretty Woman was another adaptation.  Even Romeo and Juliet is just another version of Pyramus and Thisbe.
Is the subject matter (children killing other children) appropriate for children?  Do the premises glorify violence and desensitize children to violence?  The story involves violence, children killing children, so is not appropriate for everyone.  Nevertheless, the overall theme of “good” versus “evil” is a strong lesson for today.  It is a “1984” for 2012.
Does the movie live up to the book?  It is always difficult to compare books with movies, as seldom do readers find a movie “better” than the book.  When reading a book, we make our own visual interpretation of the written word, whereas in a movie, the film-makers present their interpretation of such book.  The question should more properly be framed as “whether the movie lives up to book?”  I will let you be the final judge.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Growing Pains - Kirk Cameron Still Has A Lot Of Growing To Do

Napoleon once said: "La religion est ce qui empêche les pauvres de tuer les riches" (Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich).
In other words, religion is for those who “drink the Kool-Aid” (and we all know how that ended for the followers of members of the Peoples Temple in the November 1978 Jonestown Massacre).
Not to be deterred, '80s sitcom star turned religious activist Kirk Cameron is isn't shy about sharing his feelings about religion, specifically Homosexuality.

During the now infamous interview with Piers Morgan the "Growing Pains" "heartthrob" who transitioned from a "teen-idol" "in Hollywood and became a devoted follower of Jesus Christ in the middle of [his] career" explained that he believes homosexuality is "unnatural... I think that it's detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.”
So homosexuals are unnatural (notwithstanding that homosexuality has been around since “Adam and Steve”) and homosexuality is “destructive to … civilization?”
You have to ask why he would condemn a group of people and call them destructive.  It seems a harsh judgment (“Judge not least you be judged?”) which subjects a subset of Americans to attacks and personal hatred for simply being who they are.  So why?
Cameron: “I'm a Bible-believing Christian.”  ...  "Marriage is almost as old as dirt, and it was defined in the garden between Adam and Eve. One man, one woman for life till death do you part.” (Let's not forget that talking snake!)
But of course; the Bible.  But I am confused as to which portions of the Bible he "believes?"  The only provision of the bible which addresses Homosexuality is in the Old Testament; (Leviticus 18:22); yet, he doesn't seem to follow many of the other provisions of the Old Testament.
Does he condemn himself for not wearing all white clothes (Ecclesiastes 9:8: “Let your garments be always white.”)?  And he clearly doesn't have a beard (Leviticus 19:27 states: "Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard").  So is he just picking and choosing which rules he likes and which ones he doesn't?  Click HERE for more on The Guide For Going To Hell For Kirk and Other Christians!
Maybe he self-flagellated after the show to make up for his condemnations (Matthew 7:12 “So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.”).
The real reason he was on the “talk-shows” was to sell his new movie. Yes money! He wants to make money and is schlepping his new movie. He has gone from selling a goofy character in a 80's situation comedy to now selling "GOD."
Isn’t it interesting that his discovery of “faith” was at the same time he failed as an actor in Hollywood.  He claims that at 17 he was an atheist (I wonder if at 17 he actually believed he was an Atheist and understood what that meant, or whether he simply says that he was so that he can "put down" Atheist for knowing less than he now knows and believes).

In a recent interview with Ramin Setoodeh (a senior writer at Newsweek), Mr. Cameron tells Ramin Setoodeh why Morgan was ‘insensitive’ and ‘heartless’ and how he really feels about gay people (of course he loves all people).  There he goes once again, judging (Morgan) and calling him names.  Not very biblical.  So what does he tell Ramin when he asks Cameron why Cameron thinks that he is a sinner at 17 and whether he was promiscuous?
for HATE AGENDA." (He looks very tough.)
"No. I think God was saving me from a lot of trouble, without me even knowing it, which was really cool. It was like helping someone who doesn’t even acknowledge your existence. I think my biggest problem was as a celebrity on a TV show, you get an inflated ego and you think you’re the center of the universe."

I think it is “really cool” how “God” wanted to keep the washed up sit-com star out of trouble.  And as for the “ego,” it seems alive and well (hawking his book on all the network shows, including Piers and the Today Show).  Also, Cameron speaks of how “he knows,” and how “God” has spoken to him. 
For his part, Piers Morgan has clarified why he objects to what Cameron said.  In a tweet, Piers Morgan said:
@piersmorgan  Re #KirkCameron, I respect his religious beliefs - just don't respect his use of bigoted, inflammatory language re homosexuality. End.
I agree with Piers.  Not simply did Cameron say that he objected to homosexuality because of his religious believes, he went on to condemn them and blame them for causing the destruction of society.
Perhaps he should re-read his bible.  Psalms 34:13: "Keep your tongue from evil …"
In Hebrew, evil tongue is called Lashon hara, and rabbis compare it to murder.  And as Paul said in Ephesians 4:29: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only which is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Cameron has stated that he believes that the Piers Morgan show was not the proper forum to discuss such issues; yet, Cameron did not hesitate to use such hate-filled words.  Maybe he should read Ephesians 4:29.
What is more destructive is a "celebrity poster boy" spreading archaic words from multiple different books written thousands of years ago and emphatically stating that it (the Bible) is the word of "God" and those that don't believe as does he are "unnatural" and responsible for the destruction of civilization.  Who anointed Kirk "God?"
It is a long road from being a teenage "poster boy" to becoming the poster boy for God-fearing Christians, but Mr. Cameron still has some growing pains.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Guide For Going To Hell For Christians!

I am not a biblical scholar and do not profess to be one.  Nevertheless, I am always confounded by many Christians who are more than happy to tell me I am going to hell because “I don’t believe.”  So many are ready to judge others and condemn them to hell, without really looking at their own behavior.

What happened to judge not least you be judged (For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Matthew 4.24)?

Yes I know, many “Christians” have an answer for that too:

Cor. 6:2-3 Do you not know that the saints [the saved; Christians] will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!

Prov. 3:21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight;

John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgement

Jer. 22:3 Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness...
Phil. 1:10 so that you may be able to discern [judge] what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ...

Phil. 1:7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you [judge you]...

Darn, I have barely gotten started and I don't know whether judging is right or wrong?  Isn’t it all so confusing?  I mean, here the Bible says one thing, here it says another?  What does it mean?  I guess to be safe, just don't violate any rules.

And, then you have to ask yourself which version of the Bible do you mean?  Old Testament; New Testament?

Even more confusing did you know about The First Council of Nicaea?

The First Council of Nicaea was a council of Christian bishops convened in Nicaea in Bithynia (present-day İznik in Turkey) by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325. This first ecumenical council was the first effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom.

The council affirmed and defined what it believed to be the teachings of the Apostles regarding who Christ is: that Christ is the one true God in deity with the Father.  The council also promulgated twenty new church laws, called canons, (though the exact number is subject to debate), that is, unchanging rules of discipline (it included a prohibition of kneeling on Sundays and during the Pentecost (the fifty days after Easter).

I was reared Catholic and we kneeled.  Are all Catholics going to hell?

Some argue that Christianity consisted of many sects and that Constantine (The Great) by converting the Paul heresy triumphed as the concept of trinity and the ending of the Mosaic law (which made swine flesh permissible) brought this version of Christianity very close to the Hellenic paganism that was practiced in Rome and Greece. At Nicea Constantine had 300 versions of the Bible burnt, thus legitimising and patronizing only the Paulic heresy.

So which is it? Do we read just the New Testament and/or the Old Testament?(Matt 5:18: For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law (the TORAH, including Leviticus) until all is accomplished).

For you “Conservative/Born Again Christians,”I would point out that when claiming that the Bible forbids homosexuality, most people point to Leviticus 18:22 which reads, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination."  OLD TESTAMENT.  Darn, I guess all those Christians that say the Old Testament doesn't apply to them, must have no objection to Same Sex Marriage!

Three centuries after Jesus lived, this council was given the task of separating divinely inspired writings from those of questionable origin. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to do it when you had Jesus there, in front of you?  That way you could ask for clarification of the rules.  Did Constantine just pick and choose what went into the Bible?

Since we can't ask Jesus, what should we do?  To be safe, let's just try and avoid violating as many rules as possible.  Luckily for you, our guide includes things that are forbidden in all three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

But others have argued that the passage is merely one of many archaic religious laws that are no longer relevant to today's modern times and do not need to be upheld.

So, let’s look at our guide to going to hell.

Let's start out easily on what we can do!!
A hot topic today among the GOP is whether President Obama is trying to establish a class/racial war.  Don’t you worry about that. 

Leviticus 25:44 states that; I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations.
I think that explains a lot of why the GOP wants to “control the border;” so that they may properly process their slaves.  A friend of mine claims that applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Why can't I own Canadians?
Newt Gingrich has been talking a lot lately about being able to put children to work; you know, get rid of those pesky child labor laws.  Don’t worry, that will not send you to hell.

Exodus 21 provides that: I may sell my daughter into slavery.
My cousin asked me what might be a fair price for his daughter.  What do you think?
Now let's move on to those "abominations" that will damn you to HELL!
Tattoos are also all the rage these days.  Thinking of getting a sweet little rose tattoo where “no one can see it?”

Leviticus 19:28 states: Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
Off to have your hair done

Leviticus 19:27 states: Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.
My girlfriend really gets this one!  She wants to kill her hair-dresser when he messes up.  Now she can!  Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden in Lev.19:27.  How should they die?
INow for us guys.  What is the worst thing most guys can imagine?  Yes it involves their "man-hood."  It's bad enough if you're a man who has had his private parts injured -- or heaven forbid cut off -- but to add insult to injury.

Deuteronomy 23:1 states: He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.
How do circumcised men enter into the "congregation of the Lord" when Deuteronomy 23:1 forbids it?
Have you ever had your palm read? Or maybe you've consulted your horoscope for a little guidance?

Leviticus 19:31 reads:  Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
My friend believes in numerology.  Is that exempt? 

Writing the horoscope should be easy: "Read this and you will burn in hell!"  My newspaper has the horoscope in it, must I burn the newspaper as heresy?
Heard some juicy news about Harold in the accounting department? Can't wait to tell your BFF that you just read that Snooki is pregnant?

Leviticus 19:16 states: Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour; I am the LORD.
Gentlemen -- if you ever get in a fight and you get the feeling your lady might jump in and lend you a hand by squeezing your opponent's... ahem... "secrets," you'd better stop her.

Deuteronomy 25:11-12 states: When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her.
Almost Easter.  We use to have delicious hams at Easter.

Leviticus 11:7-8 reads:   And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.  Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.
May I still play football if I wear gloves?
Kids these days -- you never know what's going to come out of their mouths!  But hopefully your child doesn't curse you.

Exodus 21:17 states:  "And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death."
When it comes to the Bible, this is a big no-no.

Mark 10:11-12 states:  Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich must surely be going to hell; seven wives between them.  And they complain about Mormons having multiple wives.  Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with in-laws? (Lev. 20:14).
My friend is always complaining that her boss makes her work late every night and sometimes on weekends.

Exodus 31:14-15 states:  "Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
Next time her boss tells her to work over-time, I suggested she cut off his manhood (instead of putting him to death).   That way he will burn in hell and be without his manhood.
Headed to church, ladies?

Corinthians 14:34-35 states:  Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.  And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
Does this apply to nuns or are they exempt too?  I had a mean nun as a teacher.  I am sure she is burning.
Craving a big bowl of popcorn shrimp or lobster salad?

Leviticus 10-11 states:  And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:  They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
Does that mean that all of the congregation of the church in my neighborhood that is advertising a "cat-fish" fry are going to hell?
And let’s not forget Rick Santorum, who must just love Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 22:20-21 states:  But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:  Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.
Is there a limit on the size or number of the stones?  What if she doesn’t live with her parents, is it okay to pull her from her apartment?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have any defect in my sight.
My friend wears contacts, does that count?
My uncle has a farm.  He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend).
My girlfriend also gets this one.  Nothing bothers her more than when people dress poorly, she calls them "fashion sitations."  Who know those sitations meant that those people would burn in hell too!
My neighbor tends to curse and blaspheme a lot.  Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev. 25:10-16).
Why do I feel like I just read Santorum's campaign platform?
Are we all doomed?  Well, luckily if you are Catholic there is a way out!!!!!
No matter how horrible you are, you can do anything anytime you want; IF, you just pray after and ask for forgiveness.  Then amazingly you are forgiven.  So the “Golden Rule” is just don’t die unexpectedly, that way you can do whatever the “HELL” you want and just ask to be forgiven latter.
Sounds like the perfect "get out of jail free" card.  That is a rule I could live with.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I Find I Agree With Ron Paul More and More

Such as on Today's State of the Union show on CNN when asked if Obama has done "enough" to force Iran to stop its nuclear development via sanctions and others, his reply was spot on: "I think he gets too much involved. I think sanctions gives the motivation for them to want a nuclear weapon. We have 45 bases around them, we can demolish them within hours. And the worst thing the sanctions do, and Republicans and Democrats both support it and the other GOP candidates want war even more, the whole thing is there is a lot of dissension in Iran and we should encourage it by not interfering, once we get involve and threaten to bomb them, it becomes nationalistic - everyone joins the Ayataollah and Ahmedinejad. So there is a blowback - unusual circumstances and unintended consequences. So yes, our people are well-intended, but they don't realize how much damage they do by not accomplishing what they want and causing more harm to us. So our military personnel right now are very adamant not to be involved in a bombing of Iran, it makes no sense whatsoever to our military personnel, to the CIA, even though they are much more interventionist than I am."

Do you want war in the Middle East?  Other than Ron Paul, every GOP candidate virtually insures it!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Call Me F**KING Surprised - Romney’s Tax Plan Takes From the Poor, Gives to the Rich

A new non-partisan study has determined that Mitt Romney's tax plan "strongly favors the wealthiest Americans."

The analysis comes from the Tax Policy Center, who note that the bottom 20 percent of earners would see their taxes increase by 1.3 percent ($149) on average. Well, that doesn't sound too bad. But how are the super-rich fairing?
The top 20 percent, meanwhile, would see an average tax cut of $16,134 — a 5.4 percent reduction in their tax rate. The top one percent of earners would see their average tax rate fall by nearly $150,000 per year, and the top 0.1 percent would see a reduction of more than $725,000.
Seriously?  I am living in a parallel universe? 

Every poll shows that even the rich, yes the rich even say it,should pay more taxes (well of course not all the self-indulgent assholes).

With record unemployment and people on food stamps, we need to give the rich a bigger tax break???

The Tax Policy Center also looked at how Romney's new tax plan would affect the deficit over the course of the next decade. The answer, it turns out, is "not so well."
According to the Tax Policy Center, Romney's plan would add $900 billion to the deficit in 2015, when the changes would go into full effect. The group has also found that the 20 percent tax cut, combined with Romney's proposal to repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax, would add $3 trillion to the deficit over ten years — even if the Bush-era tax cuts and more recent tax cuts are extended.

So the all important deficit issue of the GOP (cough, cough) is nothing but lies.  Deficits are good as long as the rich get richer, and a GOP is President.

Vein & Company?
And in case you're wondering how Obama's tax plan stacks up, the Tax Policy Center reveals that it "would increase taxes on the top 20 percent of earners by two percent while leaving taxes on other Americans essentially unchanged." Won't somebody think of the one percent?

Is there anyone who does not yet see why OWS does have a single, coherent message?

Soon the poor will having nothing left to eat except the rich.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hey Fat Old Lady – You Will Die A Miserable Horrible Death

In the poster-child for Teacher Of the Year Award, we have a winner, Principal Dorothy Bond of Haywood High School.
Public school teachers have a difficult enough challenge as it is.  But Principal Dorothy Bond of Haywood High School, has set the sites even higher.  She has decided that the separation of church and state should be tossed aside in favor of her bible beliefs (Yes believing in a false deity, born to a virgin, and not heard again for 150 years – makes her top of the class).
During a recent meeting with students, she allegedly pointed to a bunch of gay students and told them they were going to hell. She also made sure that pregnant students were aware that their lives were over. 
WOW!!!!  That was inspirational.  And so Christ like (wasn’t one of Jesus’ principal disciples a former (?) prostitute?).  But hey, each to their own, if you not gay or a pregnant teen.
To be fair, if there is a God and he's anything like the one this crazy lady believes in, it's not just the gays who are going to hell. We're all fucked.

Everything Is Coming Up Roses!

Everything is coming up roses!!!  Can't you just hear it (certainly as presented by MSNBC, Fox, etc.)

According to iFoodstamps - the number of Americans living in poverty (or at least doing a damn good job of fooling the government in pretending they do). As of December, per SNAP this number just hit another record high of 46.5 million, an increase of 384,000 in one month (and ending the trend of declines from October and November), 2.4 million in 2011 (about as many as have dropped out of the Labor force.

We don't have soup lines (right now) because we have food stamps (unless until the GOP get ride of them).

But roses smell good, so "everything is coming up roses."

“How did you not notice 24-year-olds were being paid $2 million a year who clearly didn’t know anything?”

In many cultures, older people are viewed as wise and worthy of respect.  It is viewed that only by living a life full of ever changing events that one can appreciate the present.

No one told that to anyone of us the US.  Youth is vitality and vigor.  Old ways are just that - old and outdated.

They say that history always has a way of repeating itself. Whether it’s the tragedies, the famines, the prosperous times, or the faith of the people in the Bible, we always find that throughout history most of what has happened has already happened again or will happen soon.

But as outlined in Zero Hedge today, having faith and trust in a 24 year old is perhaps naive, but more likely trusting the fox in the hen house.  What could go wrong?

The flip side of that is that younger people are more willing to accept change
and view things differently.

The question then, is how to reconcile the two axioms.

I think most would agree, that "trusting" 24 year olds with economics for the future (when they have lived but 24 years) is putting "change" above "foresight."  There mist be an equilibrium and 24 year olds deciding economic policy just doesn't sound right.

But hey, younger and younger guys are winning the Grand Championship of Poker more and more.  Luck?  Or just more wiling to go all in, damn the consequences?