Goemon : Pirate Ninja (movie review)

I was wandering through the new flicks on Netflix this weekend when I ran into this listing.

Based on a Japanese folk legend that echoes the tale of Robin Hood, this ninja thriller follows the exploits of Goemon Ishikawa (Yôsuke Eguchi), who leaves his fighting clan after its chief is murdered and uses his skills as a thief to help the poor. But after learning the identity of his leader’s killer — the traitorous XXXXXXX (Eiji Okuda) — Goemon sets out on a bloody path of vengeance, joined by his loyal friend, XXXXXXX (Takao Ôsawa)

[note: I XXX’ed a couple spoilers there.]    If you have a Netflix account, or want to sign up for the free trial, you can do so here and watch the movie.

So…why this movie review and a blatant advertisement for Netflix?   Umm, this movie is the most ninja thing I’ve ever seen.   For someone who thought the concept of a Robot Pirate Ninja was pretty cool, seeing a movie about a Pirate Ninja is a welcome experience.   Double that with the knowledge that they nailed the general attitude (as evidence by the titular character) and dedication one must have for this kind of work, and this movie is already nearing the limits of potential awesomeness.

Tell that whole story over a backdrop of action and effects that brings to mind both Dragonball Z and 300, and you’ve got a winner in my book. An epic one.    There were probably five or six scenes in this movie where the only appropriate response is, “Oh wow, that’s sooo ninja.”

So if you enjoy watching ninjas wreck shit on screen, and have been waiting for a (mostly) live action feature focused one how totally freakin’ ninja one guy can be, Goemon is the flick for you.

The One Honest Line in a Stephen Moore Article

It’s not very easy to find.  He writes these long, number and ratio laden whine-rants, usually serving as an obscure rationalization for whatever the Republicans are doing/against what the Democrats are doing.

In this case it’s against the idea, NAY, AGAINST THE VERY NOTION, that a government might be able to raise taxes to pay down its debts and obligations.   For those that are unaware, it’s much harder for conversative commentators to do this in 2011, as we have faced pretty much the same scenario in the past, did the right thing, and it paid off handsomely.[1]

That’s the one (kinda) honest line in this piece ‘o shilling shite.

It’s true that the economy was able to absorb the Bush 41 and Clinton tax hikes and still grow at a very rapid pace. But what the soak-the-rich lobby ignores is how different the world is today versus the early 1990s. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, over the past two decades the average highest tax rate among the 20 major industrial nations has fallen to about 45%. Yet the highest U.S. tax rate would rise to more than 48% under the Obama/Democratic tax hikes.

Yes, we were able to “absorb” tax rates which actually paid for government and balanced the budget (and led to the strongest economy is ages…again…why are you against *that*?).  But that 3% difference, on the top, would apply only to those with an *annual income* of over a million dollars.  

Someone has to pay for the Bush tax cuts which went largely to the same people. I alwasy thought it was fair that people pay for what they get, no matter how many politicians or newspapers you buy.   

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Note, for those unfamiliar with the “work” of Stephen Moore, here’s pretty much all you need to know…he wrote an article making the “serious” argument that this title is accurate, “‘Atlas Shrugged’: From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years.”

It starts with this line…”Some years ago when I worked at the libertarian Cato Institute, we used to label any new hire who had not yet read “Atlas Shrugged” a “virgin.””

Hmmm, as someone who read Atlast Shrugged in their teens, I can certainly see how someone who waits to read it in their 30’s would give it WAAAAAY more weight than it warrants.    Some things it’s best just to get out of the way early, especially if you want to be an expert in the field.

[1] A banking crisis created by deregulation following massive tax cuts (Thanks Ronnie!) hammered the economy leading to the obvious necessity to restore tax rates and reign in savings and loans (Thanks George 1).   This led to massive job growth and a balanced budget.   Read up on the 90’s, good times.   Our Presidents used to get “rewards” for doing such a great job.

Proposed 28th Amendment: Privacy

Proposed 28th Amendment: The Government of the United States shall make no law that infringes upon the right of human citizens of this country to privacy.  If information about a citizen is exchanged, that citizen should be informed and have the right to consent or veto, such exchange.  If monies are exchanged for information regarding a citizen, that citizen is entitled to all proceeds exchanged without informed consent.

I think it’s time we add something like to the Constitution.  Short, sweet, and done is the right way.  The Constitution isn’t about the Government granting rights to citizens, it’s about forbidding the Government from taking them away. 

Currently we have something called the “Patriot Act”.   One of the (many, many, many, many, many) things that it does is allow our Government to purchase private information regarding the habits, activities, relationships, etc. about a citizen.  Pretty much everything.  All attached to one number.   The Government *buys* that information, about you, with your money. 

This, to me, is all sorts of wrong.    It needs to be cut off at the knees.   We need to update the Constitution.

Here’s how we do it….[note: this is a part of the Constitution itself.  It was made to be updated to reflect a changing reality, that’s how cool it is.]

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary [1], shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States [2], shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress.

Steps:

1. Contact your Federal Congressmen.  Both your House representative and your Senator.  You need both of them.  Tell them the exact text above.  Tell ’em you want it, now!

2. Contact your State Congressmen.  Both your State House representative and your State Senator (you probably have both) tell them to call a “Constitutional Convention” (use those words) to vote on the 28th Amendment. 

3. ??*

4.  Profit/Privacy/Freedom.

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* Hey, I’ll be honest, never done this before.  But we need to do it, stat.  I think it can be done.  If we keep it simple, focused (laser-like), and understand that, yes, this will disrupt quite a few industries and sketchy laws, and yes, THAT’S THE DANG POINT!

It’s officially on: Us (people) vs Them (corporations/Republicans)

Federal Judge Rules Corporations, Just Like People, Should Be Able To Give To Candidates | TPMMuckraker http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/05/federal_judge_rules_corporations_just_like_people_should_be_able_to_give_to_candidates.php#more

Federal Judge James C. Cacheris, who was nominated to the federal bench in the Eastern District of Virginia by President Ronald Reagan back in 1981, ruled that “for better or worse, Citizens United held that there is no distinction between an individual and a corporation with respect to political speech.” “Thus, if an individual can make direct contributions within [the law’s] limits, a corporation cannot be banned from doing the same thing,” Cacheris wrote in a ruling issued late Thursday.

Q: How far will Republicans go to fight against consumer protection?

A: No one knows, cause they won’t stop doing it.

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Republicans prevent Senate vacation to block possible recess appointments – Political Intelligence – A national political and campaign blog from The Boston Globe – Boston.com http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2011/05/republicans_pre.html
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This is all about stopping a woman from having the power to fight against corporate over-reach.   The same woman accused, falsely, of lying under testimony yesterday.

Read up on this Elizabeth Warren lady, and you’ll probably agree she would be very effective.  Hence the b.s. maneuvers to freeze her out, and prevent her from serving the public.

Moderate Debt Ceiling Rant

I’ll let this guy speak for his own self.

Couple other links on the topic…these are largely the symptoms of the above phenomenon.

Here’s some general background reading on the changes happening during the period ranted about.

Remember how Wisconsin was broke and teachers needed to take a pay and rights cut to balance the budget?   Yea…turns out that money was just needed by folks more supportive of the Governor.

Remember how people used to take vacations?   Yea, me neither.  But it turns out they do, in other countries.

Working more makes Americans happier than Europeans, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Happiness Studies. That may be because Americans believe more than Europeans do that hard work is associated with success, wrote Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn, the study’s author and an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Dallas.

“Americans maximize their… [happiness] by working, and Europeans maximize their [happiness] through leisure,” he found.

So despite research documenting the health and productivity benefits of taking time off, a long vacation can be undesirable, scary, unrealistic or just plain impossible for many U.S. workers.

[full story]

BTW, that concept that hard work is what it takes to change your stars and it’s easier to do in the U.S. that anywhere else?     Yea…not so much.  

The results are quite spectacular. Figure 3 shows that while in the Nordic countries and the UK, men born in the lowest income quintile (the income quintile of the father) have a probability of 25-30% to stay in this lowest quintile; in the US, this probability is more than 40%. Figure 4 shows that the probability of US men born in the lowest quintile to move to the top quintile is less than 8%, while in the Nordic countries and the UK, this percentage is around 12%.

[full paper]

Jon Huntsman coming to realize he is running in the wrong primary

N.H. Republicans slam Jon Huntsman’s push for illegals’ rights – BostonHerald.com http://www.bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/view.bg?articleid=1339432&srvc=rss

Doesn’t he know Republicans no longer support “human” rights, only God-given American rights, like who to marry.

“I think these positions certainly set him apart from most others in the (GOP) field,” said Josh Dorner, spokesman for the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a liberal Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit. “We want to make sure that everyone is aware of some of the really important progressive issues in his past … which we think are something to be proud of.”

Huntsman also is facing questions from Republicans regarding his ambassadorship to China. “One of the most damaging things to him … is that he served in the Obama administration,” said Andrew Hemingway of the Republican Liberty Caucus in New Hampshire. “That is a really hard thing for a lot of people.”

Oh jeez, this is going to get ugly.

The funny this about it is, for me personally, Huntsman is just the type of Republican I could vote for, one with a somewhat rational policy agenda.  

The idea that serving our country is somehow a detriment is also somewhat baffling (if one wasn’t aware of the current Tea Party bias in the primary part of the GOP).

Quick follow-ups (Bachmann Civics Challenge, Common/O’Reilly/Stewart)

The girl who challenged Michelle Bachmann to a debate is getting the standard mob treatment. [original post]

Ann Myers challenged the tea party favorite in a letter dated April 29. After it started getting media attention last weekend, commenters on tea party websites have threatened to publish her home address and some have threatened violence.

The 16-year-old from Cherry Hill says several commenters have called her a “whore.”

Her father, Wayne, says he’s concerned for his daughter’s safety.

Alas, it looks like this is all for naught, as Bachmann has decided to keep her peculiar take on American history and civics to herself.

Bachmann’s office told The Courier-Post of Cherry Hill that it won’t respond to the debate challenge.

[full story]

The Common Nontroversy [original post] also reached a fitting ridiculous conclusion with Jon Stewart exposing Bill O’Reilly for the ignorant hate he represents.  In case you think there’s some sort of equal exchange of valid opinions going on here, make sure to see what Bill’s fans thought of the back and forth.  These are the poll results from his own page…

That 21% are the same folks who still though Bush was awesome in 2008.