We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, January 2. 2013
Road sign seen in Lyme, CT, in November
Prof. Mead had a wonderful New Year's Eve at the opera
150 Years Ago Today… Republicans Freed the Slaves
Toyota: Settlement of the year
Fiscal Cliff Deal: $1 in Spending Cuts for Every $41 in Tax Increases
Zero Hedge: Putting America's Tax Hike In Perspective
DriscolI: Human Nature has no History
Tuesday’s tax increase is the biggest in decades
Mort Zuckerman: Brace For an Avalanche of Unfunded Debt
Biden May Be the Most Influential Vice President Ever
Ari Fleischer may give less if charitable deduction is limited; Libs freak out
Brokaw: 'The system is rigged'
US Marine Pens Viral Letter to Anti-Gun Senator Dianne Feinstein: “No Ma’am”:
Collision course with Israel
Court appeal of dissident Vietnam bloggers is rejected
Israel economy best in the west
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RE: Marine pens to DiFi - BRAVO!
Hypocrisy needs called out at ever encounter, and illuminated. Glad it went viral - it needs added to the National Record!
Cpl. Boston nailed it. It's amazing how an entity like our Federal legislature with a less than 20% approval rating can consider themselves so far above the average tax paying citizen. Oh, and let's not talk about those liberal fanatics in Hollywood who make movies glorifying gun violence because that would upset the those legislators that are owned by them.
The Hobbit: Narrative Validation or Vandalism?
The reaction to Jackson's "The Hobbit" has been interesting to say the least. Kids, even those well versed in the lore of The Shire and Hobbits in general (which Jackson seemed to ignore if not outright bastardize) seemed to really like it. I have a teenaged niece who is a big time "Hobbit" and "LoTR" fan (and in fairness could easily be called an expert on the two) who loved it even with the inconsistencies. Then there is a middle group who enjoyed parts, didn't like others and generally gave it a middle of the road review -mostly adults who are familiar with the stories from reading them years ago. Fanboyz and grrlz of course hate it with a passion because it's "not true to Tolkien's vision".
As with anything written that's put onto the screen it must be "interpreted" by the producer, the director and the screenwriter(s). For instance, Paul Verhoeven (director) and Edward Neumeier (screenwriter) totally screwed up Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" and the Heinlein fans screamed bloody murder - not about how Verhoeven messed up the whole book but, and this is important because it pissed me off too, no powered armor. A large part of Heinlein's Mobile Infantry concept was the powered armor and it never made an appearance. There were other issues to be sure - the whole fascist nonsense, the fact that the "bugs" farted interstellar bombs out their asses and of course the incredibly dumb invasion scene in which all the invading human ships were clumped together making a nice big fat target.
Much like LoTR, I'll wait for the DVD - I'm not a theater guy at all - don't like crowds and I am extremely paranoid if I can't sit with my back to a wall. I am looking forward to it though.
These are not sacred canonical texts. The original artist painted over his own works, always fiddling and improving. Recognize Jackson's movies for what they are: an interpretation of Tolkein in another media, by an ordinary mortal, and not a masterwork.
There's something great about Tolkein's work, though. He writes just enough detail that each person can finish the job of constructing their own personal fully-formed Middle Earth.
I have plenty of disagreements with Jackson's version. (I disagree completely with the portrayal of Elrond, and the Elves more generally.) But I can pick up the books and read them, and I'm back in MY Middle Earth (albeit with a little inescapable Jackson-infused imagery).
I liked what I read once years ago when the LoTR movies first came out. Somewhere, there's a kid who's learning to make movies with CGI, who will eventually come out with a credible artistic alternative to Jackson. I await that day.
These are not sacred canonical texts.
True enough, but to some, they are and those are the ones making the most noise.
In cases like these, I always enjoy what is presented (with the sole exception of "I, Robot" which was a total embarrassment and "Starship Troopers" which was just plain ridiculous.
And I much prefer the books - that way I can make it look like I want it to look like in the theater of my mind. :>)
Thanks much fo the link, Bird Dog!
I would agree, they are not sacred texts. Actually, I liked the LotR series and would say Jackson did an excellent job there making concrete important parts of the backstory, like Saruman's treason and the forging and finding of the Ring. I think this time around Jackson went out of his way to thumb his nose at the Tolkien Estate - possibly because they had sued him and New Line Cinema for not paying $80 million in royalties. Perhaps the next two will be better (not sure The Hobbit really required a trilogy, either)
Re: Putting the tax hike in perspective
It is even worse than Tyler indicates if he didn't take the spending increases into account.
I have never understood why, WHY? It is not possible to negotiate this compromise: SS to everyone over a certain age who has earned their payment--except for those over a certain annual income from other sources, and a certain amount of real estate or other assets. Sure, I know there is a group of people who will transfer everything to their kids, best friends, etc. But, there is still an awful lot of money to be had for the young families, etc. just by going down to Florida and off loading some of those old timers from the SS paycheck line. IN EXCHANGE for which the SS funds stay clean--that is to say they are NOT put at risk by the same group in WS who end up in Florida. Those monies stay as actual monetary (cash) reserves! That should satisfy the demorats! But, why won't they go for it? Too much political power in FL? WS wants it all and neither the republicons, nor the demorats have the courage to come to an agreement on this issue. Too much political power in NYC? When the hell will the rest of us be heard by either side?
Why "means test SS"? That is a slippery slope and it isn't needed. Here is a better solution. Treat SS like an annuity and pay people a percentage when they retire based on their "investment" into SS while they were working. Don't pay someone who did not invest in SS. And provide a vested nest egg for those who die before they have gotten a return on their annuity. And like most annuities the money should be managed and invested to providing real value to the annuitants.
Invaribly the problem of SS going broke will come into the arguement and there is a solution for that as well. Use the theory of pari mutuel payout. What this means as applied to a annuity is everyone gets a percentage of what is paid into the system each year and their percentage is based on what they paid into it in their working years. But the total of the payout can never exceed the total "income" paid into the SS system for that year. Pari mutuel as it applies to betting pays out from the pool of total bets placed and thus it is impossible to "break the house".
Re: The system is rigged
I agree with Brokaw's assessment, but it is way too shallow. Congress critters live in a bubble. They pass laws that they don't need to live by. Most of them retire from Congress much wealthier for their "service" to us insulating them further. Then the news media - especially Brokaw - is at fault since they decide not to report the all the news - only the news that fits their narrative. Thus Brokaw can wonder when Clinton was running for a second term how the public would react to the Chinese funding his campaign (but Imus, who was interviewing ask how they would know since if they listened to his newscasts they would never hear about it). Then just prior to Obummer being elected, he can ask Charlie Rose who Obummer is, stating that we are about to elect someone about whom we know very little. Uh, Tom. Isn't that your job???
I think, Ari is hearing from the 47% Mitt Romney was talking about.
You think? If it wasn't for staying at your childhood home, mooching off your parents, and decrying how lousy 'things' are when you just don't 'make' your own future, its pretty easy to lament and demonize someone who has.
My neighborhood is prime example - several prodigals have come back, since 'the world is too harsh to live in it', and came back home since they could not survive college. Their days are filled with hanging out on the green power boxes for our underground lines, playing basketball, and up WAY past midnight, prowling the streets.
Our one friend, with one such son, lined up a gig at the local Pizza place, as a manager, and the kid rebuffed it - it was below his education. Guess the CEO position was already filled.
We've gone from 'We can do it!' to 'Are you kidding me?'.
I can live through another 4 years of Obama. These damn "republicans" are going to kill us all.
I cannot emphasize enough, and have been for years, that WWE is more realistic than the drama DC serves us.
Get it through your heads: Republicans in DC are nothing more than controlled opposition, if you can call Judy "opposition" to Punch. Does this latest episode help see this? Or do Republicans and Independents keep pretending that Lucy will hold the football, finally, just this once... Party, as you know it, is meaningless, except on your side of the ballot box. Enjoy your soap opera!
I almost finished a comment about the human nature has no history thing, but it was boring. And, when they get around to genetically modifying people and it changes their "nature", I will either be dead or should be. Instead, I find it rather interesting that those 'tea party' radicals in Manhattan were accused of credit card fraud or theft or something. I find that interesting because there is no one the government can't frame with some form of trumped up financial crime. It's all electronic and it's all easily manipulated by the government to reflect anything the government wishes it to reflect. And who doesn't owe money to somebody? Well, if the government doesn't like my idea, maybe the writers for NCIS can use it in one of their stories.
It's typical isn't it? Those Harvard educated, bomb sympathizing 'tea party' radicals always seem to spoil the fun for everyone else. Now I'll bet they will take everyone else's bomb making supplies away and we will need to listen to the liberals rant against bomb making supplies as if those inanimate objects do any harm. These days, everybody is a spoil sport.