The Resurgent https://theresurgent.com Committed to Freedom, Faith and Family Mon, 20 May 2019 20:11:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2 https://theresurgent.com/wp-content/uploads/cropped-favicon-32x32.png The Resurgent https://theresurgent.com 32 32 104855451 How Game of Thrones Ended with a Quiet Thunder https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/how-game-of-thrones-ended-with-a-quiet-thunder/ https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/how-game-of-thrones-ended-with-a-quiet-thunder/#respond Mon, 20 May 2019 21:00:40 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/?p=50622 It all came full circle. The beauty of Game of Thrones is at its core the characters. When the show was at its best it gave us windows into the fabulous personas that made the show special by letting us follow their stories: Jon Snow, Arya Stark, Tyrion Lannister, Jorah Mormont, Samwell Tarly, and many […]

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It all came full circle. The beauty of Game of Thrones is at its core the characters. When the show was at its best it gave us windows into the fabulous personas that made the show special by letting us follow their stories: Jon Snow, Arya Stark, Tyrion Lannister, Jorah Mormont, Samwell Tarly, and many more.

The worst parts of Season 8, especially Episode 5, were a series of at times rushed (if cinematically spectacular) events and action sequences, missing much of the character flow that made previous seasons spectacular. Season 8, Episode 6 did the opposite. A superlative closing of plot circles. For a series with all the splendor of a movie in each episode, the last one did the little things with the characters to be great…even if there is no happy ending and many disgruntled fans.

Let’s discuss:

Drogon – Wait, he’s a character? Yes, much of the show he was a thing. An interesting, powerful, event-altering thing. But a beast. In this episode he becomes a character. He looked upon Aegon Targaryen, slayer of the Mother of Dragons, and he made a choice.

He burned the Iron Throne, ensuring no one would sit upon it now that Daenerys was dead. He carried his mother away from Westeros, after touchingly nudging her to verify her demise and then wailing aloud. In doing so Drogon looked upon the last Targaryen and spared him. I like to think Drogon took Daenerys back to Old Valyria to rest in the Doom among her ancestors.

Tyrion – amidst the hell of the death and destruction of King’s Landing, he insists on seeking his brother. Alone. He finds him, in the arms of the woman he loved. As Jaime prophesied. And Tyrion wept.

Then understanding the possible consequences, Tyrion publicly and forcefully tosses aside the emblem of Hand in front of Daenerys, silencing the Unsullied, because he would not endorse the death of innocents.

He declared to Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen, “you are the shield that guards the realms of men.” But he’s not talking about the Wall. He’s talking about the wrath of Daenerys. The people of the world need a shield from her madness.

Tyrion is the best of himself at the Dragons Pit. A wonderful physical return to the powerful scene in Season 7 where Tyrion and company brought a wight to show Cersei and Jaime. Tyrion’s plea to abandon rule by birthright produces perhaps the one outcome to halt further bloodshed.

And when Bran the Broken makes Tyrion Hand again as both punishment and reward it is all fitting.

Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryenoh, dear.

If any character stayed true to his story arc it was him. He slays his (Mad) Queen only as a last resort, grudgingly convinced by Arya and Tyrion. He then takes the Black and goes North, but this time not by his choice.

Jon’s trajectory throughout the show’s seasons was at times glorious, at times maddening. He has regrets, but as Bran consoles him: “You were exactly where you were supposed to be.”

There’s a lesson there.

The horn signalling “Ranger returning” at his arrival at Castle Black was an especially poignant moment.

Ser Brienne of Tarth – her honoring of Jaime Lannister in the Book of the Kingsguard is one of those subtle scenes where even in brevity a lot is accomplished. She saw the good in Jaime. And she memorialized it.

She herself becomes a Kingsguard again. Nodding to her past, her oath to House Stark, and the new Westeros to come.

Ser Podrick Payne – Ser. Enough said.

Ser Bronn of the Blackwater – he didn’t receive much attention in the last season, but he was richly rewarded at the end for his service to both Tyrion & Jaime. Is he perfect? Far, far from it. His last scene is arguing for the rebuilding of brothels in King’s Landing before the rebuilding of ships.

But he served Tyrion and Jaime (and the Realm) all across Westeros with great skill, commitment, and valor. He earned his place.

Lady Sansa – through hellish events and travails, she slowly grew into her path and arrived at her destiny. A defender of the North, even during the Kingsmoot. She was firm in her defense of and advocacy for her people. Hail, Sansa, Queen at last.

Arya Stark – no Lady is she, by her own request. She is a killer. The Hero of Winterfell. Yet, she does not seek a future in the land she helped save.

Once she has played her part in the resolution of affairs for her family, she commits herself to a exploration beyond Westeros, into the unknown western seas.

The trained fighter. The seasoned traveler. Someone who knows how to make tough goals and pursue them. On a ship to explore new frontiers.

Arya of House Stark, hero of the Game of Thrones.

The End – the very first episode of the series began in the North, amidst the woods beyond the Wall, with House Stark in focus. More than appropriate to end the last episode in the same setting, with the same family.

The closing scene is accompanied at first by a mournful instrumental track. A testament to the fact many, many endings in the show were not happy.

Arya embarks on her journey West with the sigil of her House on the sail. Sansa is crowned Queen in the North in Winterfell. And Jon heads north of the Wall with Ghost, aside Tormund Giantsbane and the Free Folk he saved. Creatures of the North reunited.

And as the last scene fades to black, it is in those same woods as it all began, with the music having gradually morphed from sadness into a rendition of the fabulous opening song of the show that is seared in the memory of every fan.

Not a happy ending, or a perfect conclusion. George R.R. Martin neither wanted nor provided for that. But the circle closing in a fitting way to one of the great shows in modern TV history.

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Billionaire Gives Morehouse Grads Best Present Ever https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/billionaire-gives-morehouse-grads-best-present-ever/ https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/billionaire-gives-morehouse-grads-best-present-ever/#respond Mon, 20 May 2019 19:00:19 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/?p=50634 Most graduation speakers are entirely forgettable. Occasionally, a celebrity makes headlines, but for the most part graduation speakers are politicians or local alum that give the standard “today is the first day of the rest of your lives” speech. But Billionaire Robert Smith delivered a speech at Morehouse College’s graduation that his audience will never […]

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Most graduation speakers are entirely forgettable. Occasionally, a celebrity makes headlines, but for the most part graduation speakers are politicians or local alum that give the standard “today is the first day of the rest of your lives” speech. But Billionaire Robert Smith delivered a speech at Morehouse College’s graduation that his audience will never forget: he promised to pay off all of their student loans.

In the middle of his speech, Smith announced:

On behalf of the eight generations of my family that have been in this country, we’re going to put a little fuel in your bus. This is my class, 2019. And my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans.

Now, I know my class will make sure they pay this forward. I want my class to look at these (alumni) — these beautiful Morehouse brothers — and let’s make sure every class has the same opportunity going forward because we are enough to take care of our own community. We are enough to ensure we have all the opportunities of the American dream.

This generous graduation present has been estimated at up to $40 million. Smith had previously pledged $1.5 million in scholarship money to the school. He also donated $20 million to the African American Museum. He earned a chemical engineering from Cornell University, and his master of business administration degree from Columbia Business School. He is the
is the third richest American and the nation’s richest black man. He founded Vista Equity Partners in 2000, which currently manages equity capital commitments of more than $46 billion.

The graduates were thrilled with their good fortune. Elijah Dormeus, a business administration major, said, “If I could do a backflip, I would. I am deeply ecstatic.” Smith just agreed to pay off the $90,000 in student debt he accumulated at Morehouse. Finance major Deionte Jones said“It was a sense of a new start on life. It can be challenging to be an African American in this society because we sometimes don’t come from strong economic backgrounds. This lifts a huge weight off my family’s back.”

It is impossible to estimate the boost this act of generosity has given to these graduates. Without it, they faced years of struggling to pay off their student loan debt. Now, these young men can work towards building careers, starting businesses and leading their communities instead of paying of debt.

Thank you to Robert Smith on behalf of Morehouse College and the city of Atlanta. We’d love to see more business leaders follow his lead.

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White Hat Red Coat, Do People Actually Believe This? https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/white-hat-red-coat-do-people-actually-believe-this/ https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/white-hat-red-coat-do-people-actually-believe-this/#respond Mon, 20 May 2019 17:30:30 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/?p=50626 SNL and The Handmaid’s Tale were combined this weekend in a rant against pro-life laws passed in various states. Comedian Leslie Jones appeared on SNL over the weekend dressed in a red coat and a white hat. According to Yahoo! Leslie Jones stopped by the “Weekend Update” segment of the season finale of “SNL” to […]

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SNL and The Handmaid’s Tale were combined this weekend in a rant against pro-life laws passed in various states.

Comedian Leslie Jones appeared on SNL over the weekend dressed in a red coat and a white hat.

According to Yahoo!

Leslie Jones stopped by the “Weekend Update” segment of the season finale of “SNL” to deliver a fiery denunciation of “the war on women” she sees in recent anti-abortion laws passed by multiple states in an apparent effort to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Jones first appeared in a red cape and white bonnet in homage to the regressive dystopia depicted in Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” “Well, basically we’re all handmaids now,” she said, before removing the cape to reveal a black t-shirt that said “MINE” with an arrow pointing down.

“I see on the news a bunch of states are trying to ban abortion,” she said, before jokingly suggesting the moves could lead to a slippery slope. “The next thing you know, I’m at Starbucks and they won’t take my credit card because I’m a woman instead of the regular reason, which is I don’t have no money on me.”

Of course, the video clip was circulating online and I didn’t care enough to click on it.  But the more I saw others comment on it in relation to the abortion bills, I really wanted to know why the left is obsessed with this Handmaid’s thing.

If you remember back to Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, left-wing women were dressed up in the red garb.  If I remember college correctly, my studies in lit class had The Handmaid’s Tale on a list of books one could read for the final project. 

Outside of that, I didn’t know much about it.

Thank God for Wikipedia.

Basically, the concept is similar to the dystopian society featured in V for Vendetta.  The only difference is that V for Vendetta didn’t focus on the ISIS like sex slavery and V for Vendetta didn’t spawn inane political posturing in the real world.  Okay sure, some people like the Guy Fawkes mask, but that’s  hardly been a staple in a coherent political movement like feminism.

Since The Handmaid’s Tale is such a prominent fixation in the left-wing psyche, we have to ask why.

Any protection of life is seen as the early warning signs of a theocracy.  Anytime due process is strengthened in sexual assault cases, the left worries that women will be forced into sandwich-making reeducation camps.  Anytime scientists or intellectuals affirm the existence of genuine gender differences, some on the left fear that women will be shipped off to baby-making factories.

And before you claim that’s hyperbole or a strawman (okay the sandwich making thing is a joke), all you need is this display from Leslie Jones to see that some genuinely think that something bad is going to come from our legal system. 

It makes me wonder if they actually believe the theology and political theory that is described in The Handmaid’s Tale

Knowing liberals, it’s not a stretch for them to take such distortions to heart.  How many times has a liberal asked you about eating shellfish or wearing blended fabrics or cutting the corners of your hair?

The author of The Handmaid’s Tale explicitly states that the society in her book DISTORTS scripture on purpose and does not represent true Christians.  Yet, absent that explanation and reliance on a TV series in lieu of the book, it would not surprise me that some actually think that Christianity will lead to the type of society described in the series.

It is very easy to find the story about Jacob, Leah, Rachel, and their servants and conclude that “the bible permits men to behave like they do in The Handmaid’s Tale.”  Except that’s not how Scripture is understood.  Our understanding is constrained by the text being descriptive or prescriptive.  Lot’s daughters got their father drunk and slept with him so they could have children.  That is a grievous sin.  Abraham slept with his slave in direct violation of God’s promise.  He too sinned.  The occurrence of events in scripture does not mean that those event’s are commendable or to be emulated.  The fact that Solomon had 700 wives is not an endorsement of polygamy. 

So we have that dynamic between descriptive and prescriptive. 

If one were to study scripture further,  the conduct in The Handmaid’s Tale is clearly proscribed in Mosaic Law.  The text being “prescriptive” includes “proscriptions” as well. It’s dos and don’ts.

Chief among prohibited conduct is adultery, fornication, and prostitution, which The Handmaid’s Tale seems to think is the natural outgrowth of a biblical worldview regarding men and women.  The entire premise is that the Handmaids are sex slaves.   Scripture prescribes punishment for both men and women who defile themselves in such ways. 

Understanding scripture does not end with knowing what is descriptive or prescriptive. We also understand scripture in light of the change from law to grace.  In the law, we see God’s holy and unmovable standard as well as our own depravity and the punishment we deserve.  In grace we see God’s loving-kindness and mercy, making the filthy clean.  Yet grace is not a license to sin.  We see repeated commands to flee from sexual immorality because we have already died to those sins, they have already been addressed on the cross.

The author of the book says that the dystopian society would focus on the Old Testament as a means of establishing its heavy-handed theocracy to the exclusion of the New Testament.  Christianity is not understood that way.  Law and grace have to be understood together.

This is what some on the left miss.  They think that scripture, taken in bits, can lead to something like the society in The Handmaid’s Tale.  

I don’t think many liberals are actually scared of what Christianity could lead to in politics, after all, some do like to trot out Mosaic Law as it relates to the foreigner and they aren’t particularly averse to Jesus saying “judge not.”

What’s clear is that biblical illiteracy is detrimental to Christianity and to society whenever a distorted understanding of scripture is presented, especially in the political context where everyone has an opinion.

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Outraged by the ending of Game of Thrones? We’re here for you. https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/outraged-by-the-ending-of-game-of-thrones-were-here-for-you/ https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/outraged-by-the-ending-of-game-of-thrones-were-here-for-you/#respond Mon, 20 May 2019 17:00:36 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/?p=50593 If you are one of the millions of fans outraged at last nights (less than) epic finale of “Game of Thrones,” you know you are not alone. Especially if you’ve spent any time on social media. But, if you are truly having difficulty coping, grief counselors are literally standing by. Bark.com, a UK website, is […]

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If you are one of the millions of fans outraged at last nights (less than) epic finale of “Game of Thrones,” you know you are not alone. Especially if you’ve spent any time on social media. But, if you are truly having difficulty coping, grief counselors are literally standing by.

Bark.com, a UK website, is offering counseling services to distraught fans:

For the last eight years, Game of Thrones has taken the world by storm. The fantasy TV series, adapted from George R. R. Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ novels, has gained a loyal fanbase around the globe. To say the TV programme is one of the most popular of our time is no exaggeration.

The finale of the show was always going to leave fans distraught after eight years of enjoyment, so we’ve launched a specialised Game of Thrones counselling service to help bereft fans seek support and get the help they need through this tough time.

Fans can speak to qualified counsellors (who are familiar with the series) to discuss plot twists and storylines. The professionals will help them digest their feelings and interpretation of the show, which could range from anger and confusion to sadness and grief. Most importantly the counsellors will be on hand to guide fans on how to move on after almost a decade of fandom.

Seriously.

I’m just as upset as the next overzealous fan about the mediocre ending we all waited 8 long years for, but I’m not going to pay for counseling services over it. I’m going to handle it the way we do things here in 21st century America: turn to social media. If you just hit Twitter, you’ll find plenty of people whom you can share your grief with FOR FREE!

(DO I HAVE TO ISSUE THE OBLIGATORY SPOILER ALERT HERE? IF SO, OK. SPOLIER ALERT! THE REST OF THIS WILL BE A DISCUSSION OF THE SHOW AND ITS MANY, MANY FLAWS. SO, IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW THE ENDING, GO READ SOMETHING ELSE NOW.)

So, my own personal observations on the finale:

What was the point of the big reveal that John Snow was actually Aegon Targaryen if he doesn’t get to be the rightful king at the end? He could have just fallen in love with Daenerys, killed her after she went mad and gone back to the Night’s Watch in his grief. But they made such a big deal about it. And of the handful of people who learned the truth, 2 are dead and one is in exile. Such a letdown.

BRAN? They made BRAN the king after all of that? Not John who had a rightful claim to it (or Gendry who would have been rightful king now that he’s legitimized if all the Targaryens are gone.) There was a lot of talk about Westeros becoming a matriarchy and we didn’t get a queen? So, Bran couldn’t be Lord of Winterfell, but he can rule the 7 – wait, there’s only 6 kingdoms now and his isn’t one of them AND HE STILL GETS TO BE KING? Are 3 eyed ravens even eligible for the throne?

Where did all the Dothraki go after Daenerys died?

So, Grey Worm doesn’t get to live happily ever after with Missandei. He doesn’t get to die in glorious battle. He just sails away?

After all the hype, Arya doesn’t get to kill Cersei OR Daenerys? And she just sails away too?

Tyrion got Varys killed for nothing?

Of course, it wasn’t ALL bad. Having Jamie and Cersei die in each others arms, just like they were born was fitting. Having Brienne finish his story was touching. Sansa finally got to be the Queen she always wanted to be and it looks like she’ll do a good job.

And the only couple that got a happy ending? John Snow finally reuniting with Ghost back at Castle Black.

Good storytelling is hard. Some writers like J.K. Rowling clearly knew where they were going when they started out on a 7 book series and answer all the questions and leave fans satisfied, if not happy. George R.R. Martin clearly did not. I would dearly love to go all “Misery” on him and keep him locked up until he writes an ending to my liking. In mine, John kills Daenerys BEFORE she lays waste to King’s Landing (and barbecues Varys) then tells everyone his true heritage and takes the throne. Sansa still gets to be Queen of the North (and they find a good husband for her.) Instead of having Cersei killed by falling rubble, Arya takes her out and Jamie dies protecting her. Then ARYA dies in the rubble. Missandei doesn’t die and she and Grey Worm sail off to Naath together. Ghost starts a new line of direwolves.

And they all live happily ever after.

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Vox: Trump is Darth Sidious or Darth Vader or Something https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/vox-trump-is-darth-sidious-or-darth-vader-or-something/ https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/vox-trump-is-darth-sidious-or-darth-vader-or-something/#respond Mon, 20 May 2019 16:30:55 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/?p=50621 Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is twenty years old. I love the prequels.  And by love I mean I have to skip through entire scenes just to watch Episodes I and II.  When you exclude slave Anakin/Jar Jar in The Phantom Menace and the Padme/Anakin scenes in Attack of the Clones, the […]

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Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is twenty years old.

I love the prequels.  And by love I mean I have to skip through entire scenes just to watch Episodes I and II.  When you exclude slave Anakin/Jar Jar in The Phantom Menace and the Padme/Anakin scenes in Attack of the Clones, the movies aren’t bad. 

After you toss out the crappy parts of the movies, you find that it’s really a Billy Mumphrey story.  As Kramer explains, “You see Elaine, Billy was a simple country boy. You might say a cockeyed optimist, who got himself mixed up in the high stakes game of world diplomacy and international intrigue.”

Substitute world diplomacy and international intrigue for intergalactic political intrigue and you’ve got Anakin Skywalker.  And as I draw stupid comparisons to Seinfeld, Vox feels the need to explain Trump through the lens of The Phantom Menace.

Vox says,

“But look past all of that — and it’s a lot to look past — and you’ll find three films that are weirdly concerned with political questions, with ideas about how best to divvy up power, and which tell a strangely prescient story about how inequality can breed fascism. If the first Star Wars trilogy was a rousing adventure tale about a boy who becomes the promised leader, the prequels are a dark meditation on how chosen ones can be evil, too.  In some bizarre way, The Phantom Menace— the first Star Wars prequel, released 20 years ago, on May 19, 1999 — anticipates every major sociopolitical and cultural movement of the 21st century, something that only becomes more obvious with the two movies that follow it (2002’s Attack of the Clones and 2005’s Revenge of the Sith). I’m not a fan of any of these three movies, but they just might help us understand the present.

And they just might help us understand — sorry for the very 2017 headline I’m about to drop on youthe rise of Donald Trump.”

Excuse me while my eyes roll out of my skull. You’ve really got to read the whole article for the parts I don’t share here.

It continues,

“And throughout all three films — but particularly in The Phantom Menace — Lucas carefully establishes a universe brimming with economic inequality and political instability. Those in power have more than enough, and they feel secure in their affluent status because everybody else has just enough, right? But “just enough” gets harder and harder to come by, and the top of the economic ladder gets shakier and shakier.

Then, slowly but surely, Lucas starts telling a story where fear of the unknown leads to the build-up of a massive army: those clones of the second film. They end up answering to Palpatine, who is, of course, the Sith Lord Darth Sidious in secret. As Yoda says in The Phantom Menace, fear eventually leads to the Dark Side. And the Jedi, so preoccupied with their own affairs, failed to keep an eye on the fear burbling in the populace they lived among.”

I probably don’t have to connect too many dots between what’s happened in the US in the wake of 9/11, the economic collapse of 2008, and the presidential election of 2016 before you can see that, yeah, the Star Wars prequels eerily illustrate how tyranny can rise when good men do nothing, because “do nothing” too often means “ignore the people suffering right under your nose, because it implicates you in some way.” I’d stop short of calling the films some sort of communist or socialist manifesto, but Lucas, an old lefty, surely wouldn’t mind a Marxist reading of them.”

I would first like to point out that George Lucas goes from being a racist to an old lefty in just a few paragraphs.  But beyond that minor internal inconsistency, this article twists and shoehorns contemporary politics into a space opera, which may I remind you, takes place in space.

Next up on Vox: How Revelation 13 explains the rise of Donald Trump.

Falling short of ascribing some prophetic title to George Lucas, this article doesn’t even do a very good job of connecting The Phantom Menace to any concept or current event.  For starters, the initial premise offered by the author is that oppressed peoples are prone to fascism.  I was under the impression that the oppressed where modern day saints, incapable of hate, evil, and abuse of power.  The second premise is that aloof righteousness (cough cough GOP, see I made that connection for you) will facilitate the rise of fascism and will ignore the plight of the oppressed (when the oppressed aren’t turning into psychopathic genocidal maniacs with bad pick-up-lines).  This premise also doesn’t work out well since it’s the same self-righteous snobs who end up saving the galaxy in the original trilogy.

The writer makes some connection between the fear of the unknown and militarization.  As an adherent of the Expanded Universe, this is an extremely shallow reading of the events in Attack of the Clones.  Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas was a friend of Dooku’s.  Sifo-Dyas was skilled at peering into the future.  He knew about the rise of Sidious and created an army to stop him.  Dooku killed him and took over the project. Sidious is not reacting to events in the galaxy on a whim out of some personal quest for power.   It is a calculated plan that has existed since Darth Bane went into hiding after the destruction of the Sith Empire.  Palpatine’s goal is not his personal power, but to restore Sith rule.  It’s a thousand year old grudge against the Republic and the Jedi. 

I draw a distinction between reacting to events and actively planning them for this simple reason:  The author seems to think that tyranny in the US started to rise post-9/11, post-2008, and post-2016.  If it were to be analogous to Palpatine’s thirteen years of proto-fascism, Bush would have to have been responsible for those events.  So unless Vox wants to take the “Bush did 9/11” stance, there is really no basis for any of this.  Palpatine actively plotted those stupid trade disputes in The Phantom Menace.  He arranged the Stark Hyperspace War that contributed to Dooku’s fall.  He was obviously behind the Clone Wars.  Inequality, instability, and oppression have absolutely nothing to do with Palpatine’s M.O.  

While the author won’t come out and call the movies a leftist manifesto, it is clear that the author is more than willing to read current political strife into the movies.  Lucas undoubtedly made some political points with his movies, the two main points being opposition to the Vietnam and the Iraq War.

Yet commentary from Lucas and from others involved with the films always reveals the same theme: Star Wars is a grand story about good and evil.

You might as well try to view Star Wars as a commentary on the international implications of Russian Arctic Off-Shore Drilling. 

Star Wars has nothing to do with Trump.

I think Vox has read one too many Billy Mumphrey stories.

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The Abortion Debate Is Not War Between the Sexes https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/this-is-not-war-of-the-sexes/ https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/this-is-not-war-of-the-sexes/#respond Mon, 20 May 2019 16:00:08 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/?p=50569 With the passage of laws in Georgia and Alabama, the abortion debate has exploded again. Additional laws are on the horizon. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a pro-life Democrat, has even signaled he will pass a so-called “heartbeat” bill when it crosses his desk. It seems most of the ad hominem attacks and logical fallacies […]

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With the passage of laws in Georgia and Alabama, the abortion debate has exploded again. Additional laws are on the horizon. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a pro-life Democrat, has even signaled he will pass a so-called “heartbeat” bill when it crosses his desk.

It seems most of the ad hominem attacks and logical fallacies coming from the pro-abortion crowd push the idea these laws are an attempt by men, also known as The Patriarchy™, to control women. I am not sure how Leftists and Feminazis came to the conclusion that guys are really sitting there thinking, “I know! I’ll knock her up, make her have the baby and then she will be under my control!”. That idea is as dumb as it sounds.

It is also a complete fabrication. In 2018, Gallup did a very thorough study on abortion views in America. It clearly demonstrated gender parity in the positions taken in the debate over abortion. It also shows the population is split nearly down the middle on the subject.

Gallup Abortion in America 2018 https://news.gallup.com/topic/abortion.aspx
Gallup Abortion in America 2018 https://news.gallup.com/topic/abortion.aspx

Even more interesting is the view on the morality of abortion. A survey of polling data from 2013-2017 shows that while only 20% of Americans believe it should be illegal, 48% believe it is amoral. This is probably what leads to a very nuanced position among people who identify as pro-choice. It is absolutely not a binary choice for many Americans.

Gallup Abortion in America 2018 https://news.gallup.com/topic/abortion.aspx

So, nearly 3 in 10 Americans held the position that abortion should be legal under some circumstances but was morally wrong. They will now be faced with a decision. Will they side with restrictions that may be a little narrower than simply the first trimester? Or will they side with the current position of Planned Parenthood which is free, on demand, without apology, throughout pregnancy? I’m betting on the former, especially in those states that make exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother. But the reality is the life of the mother is addressed by delivery of the infant in the third trimester. Not abortion.

It should come as no surprise, that dividing line between positions on abortion is geographic more than it is gender-based. The South and the Midwest identified as pro-life by margins of more than 10%. The East and West of the country went in exactly the opposite direction. These are the dividing lines of nearly every battle in the culture war.

However, I will assert the abortion lobby has overplayed its hand. In addition to being very sensitive to trimesters, approval of abortion is also very sensitive to the reason for having one. Public sentiment for preserving the health of the mother and victims of rape and incest was very high during the first trimester. These situations account for less than 1.5% of all abortions.

What they don’t approve of, is abortion “for any reason”. These convenience abortions make up the vast majority of procedures. They do not even receive majority support in the first trimester. Only 45% of respondents support abortion for convenience during the first twelve weeks.

Democrats couldn’t vote for a ban after 20 weeks, which included all of the standard exclusions. They have gleefully passed and unabashedly pushed policies that allow the procedure up to the point of delivery for reasons as abhorrent as sex selection. They could not even find their shriveled up little souls and vote to provide medical care to infants that survive the procedure.

Republicans and the President are absolutely correct to point out the extreme positions Democrats hold on the issue. Even better to point out how they differ from the national attitudes of those who identify as pro-choice. And states like Georgia, Ohio, and Alabama are correct to challenge the extreme laws of New York and other states with an answer and force the issue.

A society should be judged by how it protects the most vulnerable among us. And it would seem if you look at the nuance of the pro-choice position and make the correct argument, the majority of Americans will believe the pro-life movement is offering a better alternative.

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Suspicious Minds https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/less-than-meets-the-eye/ https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/less-than-meets-the-eye/#respond Mon, 20 May 2019 15:30:34 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/?p=50592 The media try to turn a humdrum non-story into a scandal. Again.

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One of the more insidious forms of media bias is the story that, while technically true, misleads the audience. A great example came way back at the beginning of George W. Bush’s administration, with breathless reports of how the new President had sacked almost every U.S. attorney, as if his action constituted a major scandal. Left unmentioned was how these attorneys work for the Department of Justice—an executive agency—and therefore serve at the pleasure of the President. The mainstream media also conveniently forgot that Bill Clinton had done exactly the same thing upon assuming office, as that would have undercut the narrative that a routine personnel decision had corrupt motives.

In the biz, this is known as “the criminalization of politics,” and is a pretty common tactic deployed by leftist reporters against incumbent Republicans. Donald Trump has certainly received his share of this kind of treatment—witness the rather unusual description of William Barr as Trump’s “hand-picked” Attorney General (as though previous presidents hadn’t selected theirs), or the horror at seeing children on the border locked in cages when that practice actually originated with the Obama administration—wherein stories are presented without the context that puts them in the correct perspective. As a result, news consumers come away understanding even less about the issue than when they started, or worse: everything they think they know about the issue is wrong.

Of course, this doesn’t happen by accident. Quite the opposite, the objective of the media in these cases is to misinform, obfuscate and shape the narrative in a certain way. Take this headline from NBC News, for example:

Deutsche Bank employees reportedly flagged suspicious transactions involving Trump and Kushner

Sounds rather ominous, doesn’t it? Coupled with the brouhaha over Trump refusing to release his tax returns, it seems as if there has to be some big-time coverup of nefarious activity going on, right? Well, that’s certainly what the story attempts to imply.

Anti-money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank flagged multiple transactions involving Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, from 2016 and 2017. Those specialists recommended the activity be reported to the federal government’s financial crimes unit.

But top executives at the global financial giant rejected that advice, current and former employees [said].

Whoa, money laundering? That’s some serious stuff, man! Not too many people know what it really is, other from what they remember from that one episode of Law & Order, but they know it’s something really bad that mob guys do. That must mean that Trump and that no-good Jared Kushner are all mobbed up, right?

The transactions that came under review “set off alerts in a computer system designed to detect illicit activity,” five current and former Deutsche Bank employees [said]. Those transactions were then reviewed by the bank’s compliance staff, who prepared suspicious activity reports that they felt should be sent to the U.S. Treasury Department.

Suspicious activity reports! Oh, that Trump Organization might as well be a subsidiary of the Gambino Crime Family. Forget Robert Muller and obstruction—this is the thing that’s gonna stick.

Except for one little thing.

Those reports were never filed. . .the nature of the transactions was unclear, though at least some of them involved foreign entities or individuals, which raised red flags with bank employees.

But. . .but. . .with all those red flags, how could the bank have possibly decided not to submit those reports to federal authorities? Well, that’s where the bubble bursts, my friends—or, as the article glumly notes, those red flags “did not necessarily mean the transactions were improper.” So much for the story living up to that juicy headline.

NBC’s malpractice doesn’t stop there, however. In an effort to keep its audience suspicious of Trump, it also forgets to mention that pretty much every transaction that involves a wire transfer or a foreign entity is going to trip the automated alert systems that banks use to flag potentially suspicious activity. This happens hundreds of times a day in major financial institutions like Deutsche Bank, which is why they employ teams of anti-money laundering (AML) specialists to take a closer look at these transactions and see if there’s anything hinky going on.

The way it works is this: The computer spits out a report of any activity that meets a certain threshold, which is then examined by an AML specialist. That specialist then decides whether the activity warrants additional scrutiny. If so, a report is written and then kicked up to the suspicious activity reports (SAR) team. The SAR team then decides if they want to file a report with the feds. In the case of Trump and Kushner, the SAR people at Deutsche Bank looked at the AML findings and didn’t see anything that would prompt them to alert the authorities.

And before anybody starts thinking that maybe Trump used some of his juice to get the SAR people to see things his way, consider that Deutsche Bank is subject to the knew-your-customer laws implemented on all financial institutions in the wake of 9-11, and that they are obligated to report any activities that they find truly suspicious—under penalty of huge fines. For them to do the Donald a huge favor like that would entail tremendous risk. Make of that what you will.

In any case, for NBC to make a big deal over this is misleading at best. Then again, that’s what they do best—along with the rest of the national media.

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A Pro-Lifer Goes On CNN And It Was Amazing https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/a-pro-lifer-goes-on-cnn-and-it-was-amazing/ https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/a-pro-lifer-goes-on-cnn-and-it-was-amazing/#respond Mon, 20 May 2019 14:31:47 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/?p=50611 The post A Pro-Lifer Goes On CNN And It Was Amazing appeared first on The Resurgent.

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Sanders: If We Can Pay Baseball Players Hundreds of Millions of Dollars, We Can Pay Teachers More https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/sanders-if-we-can-pay-baseball-players-hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars-we-can-pay-teachers-more/ https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/sanders-if-we-can-pay-baseball-players-hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars-we-can-pay-teachers-more/#respond Mon, 20 May 2019 14:27:39 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/?p=50607 The post Sanders: If We Can Pay Baseball Players Hundreds of Millions of Dollars, We Can Pay Teachers More appeared first on The Resurgent.

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Mayor Pete’s Cool With Abortion Even If Parents Have ‘Chosen a Name or Purchased a Crib’ https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/mayor-petes-cool-with-abortion-even-if-parents-have-chosen-a-name-or-purchased-a-crib/ https://theresurgent.com/2019/05/20/mayor-petes-cool-with-abortion-even-if-parents-have-chosen-a-name-or-purchased-a-crib/#respond Mon, 20 May 2019 14:24:12 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/?p=50603 The post Mayor Pete’s Cool With Abortion Even If Parents Have ‘Chosen a Name or Purchased a Crib’ appeared first on The Resurgent.

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