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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Warning: some very small spoilers to follow

Skyfall, which is the 23nd James Bond movie is a movie currently released in theaters. Thus chronicling the further adventures of James Bond.

My reaction to the movie? It was quite awesome.

During the run up to the movie a wide variety of trailers were released, I do not know what clued me in, but I felt as though Skyfall was going to be a deep Bond movie.

Since Bond movies usually are formulaic in scope. They follow a set plot with set pieces. Bond romances a beautiful girl, gets a gadget from Q, battles someone’s henchman, and then kills the main antagonist in the piece. All the while being charming, witty, and beating the enemy often at their own games.

It is a formula that has served the movies well and made James Bond one of the most successful and iconic film franchises, and characters, in history. So when it breaks with that formula it can either make, or break it.

But this leaves little room for depth in a plot that has to hit so many of these things leaves little room for freedom. And after 22 movies this can get a bit stale.

So the challenge is keeping enough of the formula and keep it interesting to an audience.

Skyfall does this.

And Skyfall does this in such a way that not only is it deep for a Bond movie, but deep for a movie. And probably the most compelling movie I have seen in recent years.

This message, I contend, is the will of man vs. the supremacy of technology. Bond is forced into a situation where much of the technology, many of the devices and gadgets, and a lot of the things he has been forced to rely on is not only turned against him, but is used in such a way that during much of the movie he is outwitted.

Though some of the gadgets do work, it is only for brief scenes before Bond has to use something else to survive and escape.

This message is put into sharp focus when a group of politicians is questioning M (Judi Dench) on the effectiveness of her tactics and her agency that relies so much on manpower during the age of super spy satellites and communications intercepts.

This message is brought home in the final confrontation where Bond has to rely on make shift traps and weapons while his enemy has, well modern weapons and technology.

Throughout the movie they reintroduce many of the old elements of Bond that has been missing since the series was rebooted. But not only are they rebooted, but they are a part of the story, interacting, having a major impact. They are no longer part of a checklist that Bond has to hit, but an actual active element of the story.

And they put in enough classic call backs to the old franchise to wet the appetite of the classic fan.

If Skyfall has any flaws it starts slow, and there is a long time before anything major happens. But you can tell it’s because the plot is gathering, people are building to something, and when it explodes, it does with full force.

Over all Skyfall is not only a great Bond movie, but a great movie, and I highly recommend it for long time fans, and new comers alike.

With the departure of Ron Paul from the US Congress this week, his retirement speech from that body and probably from Government for life. With the recent elections, the rise of the Libertarian message, and it becoming even clearer that America needs small Government principles then ever before, and the retirement of one of the greatest icons in the ‘liberty movement’, beloved and respected by millions. It is time to really look at that movement, that is vital for the future of America, and the people that makes the movement up.

Libertarianism is perhaps the greatest political ideology, in total. The idea that one should live free of Government coercion, or any coercion at all. That we should be free individuals capable of making our own decisions whether it is who we interact with, what we buy, or what we eat. But often enough the ambassadors of that message fall far short.

Which is surprising because most Libertarians preach tolerance and respect for divergent beliefs. Most Libertarians also want to see their movement flourish which will enable our Democratically elected Government to grow smaller and thus be more prosperous. Most Libertarians I have read and see implore people to come into the fold, to abandon the two-party system, to wake up to the evils of Big Government and join them in making the Government smaller and living independent lives.

Most Libertarians also claim that if people just knew the truth about and they could get their message out, that the country would abandon the two-party system and join them.

Careful what you wish for.

It is natural to want these things, it is also natural to want to defend that turf from infiltrators, so the flaws in the messengers might be explainable. But for an ideology such as this it is surprising that they are still there in such numbers, that there are Libertarian puritan patrols wanting to cleanse the movement of any differences.

I have experienced this, first hand. People have called me a Neo Con simply for disagreeing with their interpretation of what the Constitution, for wanting the US to engage in a semi active role in foreign policy. By no means the role we have now, but a role none the less. I have been called a bigot for pointing out some of the extreme excesses of a certain religious group.

As I have reported on this blog Ron Paul himself, without evidence, accused Michelle Bachman of being a bigot and wanting to engage in a war with 1.2 Billion Muslims. Wanting to wipe them out or convert them or some such nonsense. (Blog Link).

Now I thought at the time, first of all that it was bigoted, but how can millions of Americans follow a similar position?

Turns out many people believe him.

On one of the Libertarian Facebook pages they accused Michelle Bachman of bigotry, against Muslims and gays. Without evidence and when they were pressed on the evidence they refused to provide it, saying that all the quotes she has made should damn her.

They went after Murdoch, Akin, Allen West, and Hermann Cain on similar charges.

They have in the past called people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and others cowards and hypocrites for being ‘pro war’ when they have never served in the military themselves.

Gary Johnson, on his Facebook page, was going after the ‘ninety nine percent’ who were ready for a leader against the one percent that were screwing them…same rhetoric as the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Which is dangerous and may even be a topic for a future blog.

And this meme, among others, showing a Mitt Romney supporter apparently trying to ‘shush’ a group of Ron Paul supporters. This is bad. (You can find it on the Freedom FB page.)

But so is the moment when Ron Paul supporters booed Mitt Romney off the stage. (Link)

I get it. I get the need and want to get your message out there and to defend liberty. I also get it that I do stupid things too that detract both from the message I am trying to make on any given day, and the larger movement in general.

I also get that individual people are often poor representatives of the geo political groups they claim to represent. And I do get there is a lot of anger a bitterness and recrimination on a wide variety of issues.

But if Libertarians want to be judged for the words they say, then they should be prepared for well-meaning people to disagree with them. If Libertarians hope to become a major geo political force then they should not assume everyone is evil and bigoted and try to build bridges. No we do not have to agree on everything and we can work together on certain legislative agendas while opposing others.

But if we hope to be a force for good, we hae to start somewhere.

OK so I promised kinda new format since, you know, stuff. Then I vanished for a while, then the election happened. Oh dear. 😦 So I have decided to do this instead, kinda merge politics with the new format idea for this blog so I can talk about both politics and a rather important geo political issue, but still keep it kinda free. The question that we have to ask ourselves in the next four years.

What would Shepard Do?

Would she give up and take it? Whine and wonder at the unfairness of the universe and the idiocy of her fellow….Americans? (haha) No I don’t think she would at all. She would in fact do quite the opposite.

Commander Shepard is not the type of character to trust politicians. She in fact has proven herself to be anti-politician time and time again during the course of the games. Or, to be more precise, no matter what the political elites do and believe, whether or not they believe in the Reapers or not. She knows the truth, and acts accordingly, no matter what anyone tells her.

Her whole society doubted her, almost everyone she met told her she was delusional, and plain insane for believing in the Reapers. But she continued to fight anyways and struggle to get her point across, no matter the cost to herself, or her reputation.

She did not care, she knew what was right, and fought for it.

So we have to do. We have to do the same thing if we hope to survive.

No matter what our society does, who they vote for. No matter what the politicians do to us, what regulations, laws, or unfair practices. No matter what names we are called, racists, ignorant, bigoted, and homophobic…we must fight.

A lot of people have been echoing this message and so to do I. If we are to learn anything from the election is that this struggle is not over, and that Democracy does not work. But that is a discussion for another time.

Recently a documentary has been released called 2016, and while I haven’t seen it the message was loud and clear: If you vote for Barrack Obama the country will be in dire straights and will be burning from bad debt and big Government.

Now this did not get me thinking but then something else did. Sci fi…and if I am to be entirely honest..Mass Effect…combined the elections.

So I have to beg the question: What will this country or world look like in 2016, what will it look like in 2183? What will it look like in the 2260s? What will it look like in the 2370s?

Now I am no weatherman, and nor do I play one on TV. I am not a prophet, a sage, a wise man or a seer. I cannot answer the question. And this isn’t about the elections. Well it is. But it’s about something a lot larger than any election.

It’s about making the choice. Right here and right now. And not just about what form this country will take. Not about who will be President. But the lives we want our children to live, and their children, and their children, and their children. We have the choice to make. And not just in the voting booth.

We have the choice of what world we will create and how will we create it.

Will we create a world of dangerous and tumultuous liberty? Do we create a world of oppressive tyranny? Do we create a world of magic and wonder where there can be infinite technology coupled with an infinitely benevolent Government that somehow does not come down on its people? Will we prefer the calm chains of a large Government coddling us and stifling us and giving us some rights while denying the important ones? Or will we recommit ourselves to Liberty, no matter how ugly it can sometimes get?

America this is the choice before us. World this is the choice before us. I know what I am going to do, I know the world I want to hand down to my children. But we have to realize that only we are responsible for creating that world. We citizens of the United States. We citizens of the world. Our world will not be created in London, or Washington, Berlin or Cairo or Beijing. It will be built in the back alley streets. On the farms and in the factories. In Small towns like where I spent the first few years of my life, to the street corners of big cities.

It will be built either by us choosing to help people in need, by taking responsibility for solving our problems…to be energy independent…to get our fiscal houses in order…to work hard and then be able to honestly enjoy the fruits of our labor. Or will we choose to let others deal with it. Hope and pray for some George Washington, some Ronald Regan, or some random Government cop on the streets. Do we take responsibility, or do we abdicate it? Do we build a better world or put it in other hands, and thus build the world that we want?

This is the choice that we face, this is what will determine where we go into the future.

I renew the call, that no matter who wins the election, no matter which candidate comes out on top that we renew ourselves and get up to build the world we want. In all the ways we can do so.

Sorry for my absence from this blog for the last several weeks and…months? My life has gotten more than a little hectic and I am currently battling a cold as I write this. But I promise to get back to this and continue with the plan that I laid out in my last blog. To do one political blog, and one blog based on writing or something that is a bit more general interest. I also do not think I will be able to do a series of religious blogs in December, though I might be able to around the holidays.

But without much ado.

It has been amazing to me of late the lies, insinuations, and downright crazy positions that are being attributed to Mitt Romney over the last couple of weeks. Now I do not really like the guy he has proven himself to be for a much larger Federal Government then I actually support. He has proved that in the debates, and he also showed himself to waffle on a few key issues. There is a lot in his track record that the Democrats can criticize, and have, but they fail to do so. Instead of getting a substantive debate on the issues we get….binders full of women.

It is shocking to me though that people seem to believe these lies. Whether it is in parody, or in actual arguments that people are actually making. That Romney is going to do several things that, I certainly wonder if he can even do, and it looks like he may not want to do. Lying about his record and his positions.

This struck me during the last debate. Here Obama was attacking Romney on his position in GM, and saying thing opposite to what he was complaining about Romney an the first place.

He was in error of the facts. Romney even said in his article that he wrote “Let Detroit go Bankrupt” that he wanted to do this because the actions of the administration would eventually lead to the complete destruction of Detroit. That contrary to the Obama administrations claims he wanted to save Detroit. (source)

Whatever else Romney might have been doing there he didn’t want to see Detroit be killed. In fact he believed the President’s actions would do so! He could be wrong about the facts or in error, I believe he isn’t, but to call him malicious on any of this either means you yourself are in error of the facts, or are malicious.

Same goes with Planned Parenthood, same goes with Binders full of Women, same goes with the apparent killing of Big Bird. Big Bird won’t die, even if we cut Government funding, and neither will Planned Parenthood. So they claimed at one time as a reason to keep it open. Apparently Planned Parenthood has their own means of gathering funding on their own. And Big Bird makes so much in royalties that they asked the President to cut the rhetoric off.

And as for the Binders full of Women? I see nothing degrading about being put in a binder as a potential for work. Last I checked Romney married a woman, last I also checked his chief of staff is a woman, and she likely helped compile that binder back in the day. And the people who end up calling it degrading resorted to cheap insults and some long complicated reason about ‘how men always put women down’ for years and years and this was another symptom of this.

In politics perception is often reality. If you believe Obama to be a Muslim Fascist then he will be a Muslim Fascist. If you believe Romney to be some giant woman eating and hating octopus, then he will be a giant woman eating octopus.

Romney has his problems. I can give a laundry list of complaints I have against him. Instead? We focus on Binders full of Women. Or him killing Big Bird…or him lying…when he isn’t lying. I have a suspicion though that if Obama were to comment on all the ways Romney would be wrong, then he too would have to admit that he were wrong. Because many of the things you can complain about Romney for, you can complain at Obama for.

So that leaves Obama with nothing of substance, nothing of reality, nothing of value. Just he has to win…by convincing American Romney is the Devil.