Author Archives: Frater Bovious

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The Punisher

Social Commentary or Scathing Indictment?

BY: Frater Bovious


(New York) – Marvel and Netflix have made a huge splash in the comic universe with a series of interrelated shows featuring crossover characters. First was Daredevil, with two seasons and nearly unanimous critical and public approval. Next was Jessica Jones, my personal favorite, followed by Luke Cage. To say all these shows are dark and violent is to be guilty of understatement. Yet, amidst all the violence done to both property and the character’s psyche, we get convincing stories of damaged people trying to hold it all together and do something about the crapped up world in which we live.

Then came Iron Fist – which kind of sucked. And too bad because that show turns out to be the focal point of the evil organization known as The Hand and around which the Defenders show, the mashup of all four of these shows, revolves. And, while I enjoyed Defenders, it suffered because of the Iron Fist Factor. Iron Fist misfired on the lead character – he is not convincing, and the character is whiny – a huge turn off to me. And, while this may be intentional, he comes off as a kid trying to prove he’s not a kid. I’m not that interested in a coming of age superhero. I’m more interested in real people. And despite all the super power stuff, Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage feel real.

Which brings me finally to The Punisher. Where the first three are all damaged in some way, Frank Castle is a complete psycho, but one with a code and a plan. The code: Kill bad guys. The plan: Kill bad guys.

That is not as simplistic as it may sound. Because the flip side of that code, which is always present, is: Don’t kill good people. Help them. Even at cost to yourself. The flip side of the plan is: not very planned out – it just follows from the code whenever circumstances dictate. He is not driven to help the downtrodden, as is Daredevil.

The psycho part? Without bad guys to kill, he’s a complete wreck, barely getting by. The sad part, the social commentary part, the indictment part about this show? Frank Castle is the story of a trained soldier who comes home from the war and is not taken care of by the government that made him. It is a story writ large – it is very in your face. But all I can think about when watching this show is that this country trains weapons, uses them up, and then tosses them. And they lay around like an IED until something or someone triggers them.

At essence then, this particular show is very much about the dignity of the human person, and the violence done to a person used as a means to an end. That this violence then overflows is hardly surprising. At least, we should not be surprised – we should take note. Humans are not means to an end. They are ends in themselves.

I think it is a national shame that we need to figure out, and I think a hidden code message of The Punisher is simply, let’s take better care of our vets.

Very worth watching. Sometimes hard to watch. Should be rated R for all the usual suspects.

Check it out. I’ll talk about Jessica Jones next.

Tax Frauds

Pay Attention Now or Pay Later

BY: Frater Bovious


(WASHINGTON, DC) – I haven’t read the tax proposal – I’ve read the headlines talking about making tuition wavers taxable as income. This sounds outrageous, right? Let’s look at it a moment, and then see why they might be making such a suggestion.

  • Students are helped with their college tuition with grants, scholarships, tuition waivers, tuition reimbursements and tuition remission.
  • How are these various products funded?
    • It seems that grants and scholarships are in fact monies given to students – and I guess funded by wealthy people and corporations – This I suppose is technically income.
    • Tuition reimbursements also seems like monies given to students, but, it is reimbursing money they already paid. It hardly seems correct to call that income, though technically, it was money that came in, so…
    • Tuition remission seems to be a variation of reimbursement. See above.
    • Tuition waivers appears to simply be a reduction in what a student has to pay.

It is simply a lie to call a tuition waiver income, and thereby taxable. We should not accept these lies from our elected officials.

N.b.  The government does not make any money. All the money it spends it gets from you and it gets from me. There is no other source of income that matters. When people talk about reducing taxes, that can only be done with a concomitant reduction in expenses. This is only possible one of two ways:

  1. A reduction in Government Expenditure
  2. Smoke and Mirrors

Meaning there is really only one way that this country can actually reduce taxes (Governmental Income), there has to be a reduction in Government Services (outgo).

All the rest is literally robbing Peter to pay Paul – that is the smoke and mirrors part. Take from tuition waivers in order to offset the loss of Government Income caused by reducing some other tax. There is no other way.

When are we going to get sick of being lied to, and hold our elected officials accountable? Rhetorical question. The answer appears to be “Never.” We are already bankrupt as a country, and hiding our heads in the sand.

Meanwhile, if you are unhappy with the idea of taxing tuition reimbursement whatever it’s form, there is something you can do. Call and/or write your elected officials. They actually do pay attention if they think enough voters are actually motivated to vote.

Here is how: Contact Your Elected Official

Tell them you are pissed off. Tell them you vote. Tell them you are smart enough to find out how to contact them, so you are smart enough to find out how they voted in this and other issues. (Because, you can find out.)

Tell them you are beginning to believe it is time to vote everyone out and start over. Remind them that the 2018 elections are less than a year away.

Random Thought: If someone isn’t working for you, should you be paying them?

 

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Girl Scouts of America to Parents -Reminder: She Doesn’t Owe Anyone a Hug. Not Even at the Holidays.

Consent, it’s not just for adults anymore

BY: Frater Bovious


(New York City) – From the Girl Scouts we have this helpful tip:

Think of it this way, telling your child that she owes someone a hug either just because she hasn’t seen this person in a while or because they gave her a gift can set the stage for her questioning whether she “owes” another person any type of physical affection when they’ve bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life.

Can set the stage for questioning whether or not she “owes” another person…

Really?

I’d like to see the research supporting this opinion. There is none to be found on the website. My own uninformed impression is that our current culture has more to do with the pressures young women experience than asking them to hug grandma when she arrives.

So, let’s have a scientific poll!

 

Latest Denizen of Farmers Branch

Welcome Theo!


(Farmers Branch, suburb of Carrollton, TX) – We welcome into this world Theo, Son of Leon and Theresa, grandson of Leon, Tim and Renee, and Rosie and Mark. Gaze upon the proud Papa and his firstborn son!

Leon and Theo

Happy Birthday Theo!

Charles Manson – Dead at 88

(Dateline: HELL) – Manson was ushered into Hell earlier today. He was immediately drowned in sewage, set on fire, re-drowned, etc. 

He expressed dismay, thinking he would have some celebrity status.

“You’re in Hell, stupid,” was the response.