One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is how many people fall for the “Tax the Rich” business in the form of higher taxes.

However the women at PolitiChicks aren’t among them:

But wouldn’t these same celebrities be worried about the impending tax hikes? Aren’t they worried that they could be impacted? Not a chance. Because when it comes to actually paying taxes, these celebrities don’t want to pay their “fair share.” And, guess what? They don’t have to.

Hollywood’s elites are using a whole array of methods to escape paying their “fair share.” They use of offshore trusts, tax havens and the transferring funds to wives or civil partners as tax dodges.

Hey that can’t be right! Celebs like Kimberlin funder Barbra Streisand supported all these big tax hikes what could they possibly get out of it?

Well shortly after Proposition 30 was passed, Governor Brown signed legislation extending the state’s $100 million tax-credit fund for two more years. This measure allows California film producers a 20 percent or 25 percent credit against income and sales and use taxes.

There’s even more good news for Hollywood’s elite. California Assembly member Felipe Fuentes (D) has introduced Bill AB 2026. This measure would extend the State’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program by an additional five years, for an estimated tax break of $500 million dollars ($100 million per year). The program has already saved the Hollywood industry over $400 million in tax credits to date.

I wonder how much of that $400 mill went to democrat pols urging the rich to pay their “fair share”?

And that’s just the credits passed in daylight. For example while it’s axiomatic that you could consider using Henry C Frye for your accounting and financial planning needs, it’s also axiomatic the very rich have an army of Henry Frye’s on payroll ready to find the necessary credits and deductions to offset any increase in rates but the avg small businessman like say Walter from Aaron Pallet doesn’t.

Any person who doesn’t understand this just doesn’t get it.

Will it make a difference? Who knows, but if the Hollywood types want to protest something is a nice change for them to protest an actual tyranny:

Academy Award winners Paul Haggis and Sean Penn, along with film producer and movie studio chairman Harvey Weinstein, have joined forces with British-Iranian actress and Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) spokesperson Nazanin Boniadi to condemn the harsh sentence imposed on distinguished Iranian film director Jafar Panahi.

Both Panahi and his artistic collaborator, Mohammad Rasoulof, have been given six-year prison sentences after being convicted of “propaganda against the state.” Panahi was also sentenced with a twenty-year total ban on artistic activities. The Hollywood greats have signed a petition that Boniadi initiated with AIUSA to urge Iranian authorities to overturn Panahi’s sentence and encouraged others to go to www.amnestyusa.org to do the same.

“As someone who has often gotten in trouble for opening his mouth, it is hard to fathom the idea of being incarcerated for six years simply for speaking my mind, or to be banned from making films for 20 years,” said Haggis, who is best known for becoming the first screenwriter to write two Best Film Oscar winners back-to-back: “Million Dollar Baby” and “Crash.”

There is not a lot of support in comments for these guys over this move but lets face it, even if it is just talk, it is talk in a good cause for a change. When these guys actually fall on the side of the angels I say good!

Jimmy Stewart often remarked that he owed all he had to the fans who paid the price of a ticket. He never forgot that. It sounds like Johnny Deep has learned that lesson:

Smooth sailing for Johnny Depp, straight into the hearts of dozens of school children.

The movie star, in London shooting the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean flick, took time out Wednesday to surprise the kids at Meridian Primary School in Greenwich after an intrepid 9-year-old asked for his help in waging mutiny against their teachers.

Photos are here. That’s was a cool thing to do, thumbs up Johnny Depp.

More details here

Today on Morning Joe they were talking about movies and the statement was made concerning war movies that Americans Just didn’t want to see them.

They are missing the point. Americans don’t want to see war movies painting our troops as either evil villains or victims and that is what Hollywood has offered us.

Joe & company did make the point that heroes were not being promoted but that’s not because the Bush administration and the army didn’t decorate people. It’s because the media didn’t support the war and decided that people like Paul Smith who was awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor were not worthy of a story since telling it might promote military service or been seen as support for the evil George W. Bush.

This is the reality and it needs to be expressed more often.

Yesterday at the Oscars that I didn’t watch, a movie that I didn’t see, painting yet another grim picture of a war that hollywood still doesn’t support managed to win an Oscar.

War is a grim thing and those who fight it understand that its ending is a wonderful thing but wars are fought for a reason and for a result.

Meanwhile in the real world Iraq had an election yesterday and despite violence by those who want to kill this very young republic. They don’t seem to be succeeding.

Hollywood’s biggest failure has been their repeated attempts to convince the American People that Iraq is Vietnam and their attempts to paint the soldiers of Iraq the same way they painted Vietnam vets.

Looking at this story about Anne Hathaway leaving the church I simply shake my head realizing how lucky we are she didn’t head for holy orders, as she is very unclear on the nature of sin. So lets review a little:

First lets remind her of what the church actually says about homosexuality

Chastity and homosexuality
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,140 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”141 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

As is clear, the church differentiates between homosexuality and homosexual acts. What the church doesn’t accept is the sin, not the orientation.

And that is no different than the church not accepting breaking one’s wedding vows, or spreading calumny about another, or shoplifting, or not honoring father and mother or rejecting God, or drunkenness, or porn, or any of a bunch of other sins that the church has always talked against.

One mistake that people of religion often make is the “holier than thou” bit. There are people who never take a drink that burst out into anger at the drop of a hat. There are people who are absolutely faithful to their wives who dip into the till at work, there are people who are drug dealers, who wouldn’t think of missing mass, and there are people who would happily swindle their partner but wouldn’t ever think of gossiping about a neighbor.

The bottom line is we all have our own sins to deal with, that’s what confession is for. If people obsess about homosexuality but ignore their own sins it is their souls that are in danger.

One week at confession I mentioned to the priest that I was frustrated because I seemed to be repeating the same sins week after week. He had an interesting answer:

What do you want to be committing new sins?

Anne’s brother like everyone else has a particular sin that he is vulnerable to, by removing himself from the church and the sacrament of confession he instead of confronting his sin chooses to celebrate it.

Tell me Anne, if your brother liked to steal, if he enjoyed it, would you leave the church because the church refused to “accept” his thievery?

Your brother’s homosexuality is something he has to deal with, but the real dangerous sin that both he and you are dealing with is PRIDE. The departure from the church is a sign of narcissism, it’s the same mistake that Andrew Sullivan makes, instead of doing one’s best to fight one’s sin (and no matter what the sin is, it can seem to be a losing battle believe me I know) they choose to re-define what sin is and condemn the Church. And with the number of denominations out there you can always find one that will celebrate whatever particular sin you want to keep doing without guilt.

Thus does sin multiply. Christ was pretty explicit about this on two occasions:

He said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.” Luke 17:1-4

There is a warning to those who lead others to sin, but also a reminder to those that we MUST forgive sin when one asks. Both ARE explicitly said by Christ, If Anne ignores the first two verses and those who condemn her ignore the second two then both are in danger, but remember the words “if he repents” those words actually mean something.

And remember this applies to any type of sin. Those who try to use this only against homosexuality are deluding themselves as it was said in the Screwtape letters #12:

You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,

However there is an even more explicit message that Anne and her family might want to take note of:


“Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’ “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 10:34-39

Anne you may realize that there are some differences between the Catholic Bible and the one that the Episcopal church uses, but none of those differences are in the New Testament.

If you and yours decide to discard your cross rather than bear it you will be celebrated. You will be feted at the best parties. The media will love you, it will lead to prestige for you in Hollywood and everywhere on the talk show circuit. And if you choose to keep on this path, when your obituary is written the style and media writers will mention how brave you were to defy the church. The media will celebrate you for all the rest of your days…

…after that you’re on your own.

I’ll say a rosary for you, I invite others to do the same or whatever prayers you prefer.

Update: Linked by Adrienne’s corner. Thanks

concerning bail and initial release should end sometime this week:

The Swiss Justice Ministry says it will decide this week whether to grant a request from Roman Polanski to be released from prison.

Ministry spokesman Folco Galli says the appeal by Polanski’s legal team is separate from a court case it filed last week that also seeks Polanski’s freedom, possibly on bail or under house arrest in Switzerland.

Simple logic should preclude any kind of release as he does have a history of flight.

The story would suggest that the Swiss are unlikely to give him bail but after what I’ve seen this week I’m not taking any bets either way.

If I’m Hollywood I really want this to go away as soon as possible, I don’t think they want more Hitchens articles like this:

Once you begin to notice that special set of ethics known as Hollywood exceptionalism, you may find yourself seeing it everywhere. In a recent book titled We’ll Be Here for the Rest of Our Lives (and enticingly subtitled A Swingin’ Showbiz Saga), late-night music maestro Paul Shaffer feels that he perhaps ought to say something about Phil Spector’s conviction for the murder of another human being whose name most people can’t remember. So he does say something. “I regret all the tragedy that has surrounded Phil in recent years,” is what he chooses to say. Not really even a try, let alone a nice try.

He exposes the dirty little secret that the outrage of Hollywood’s reaction to Polanski is that their reaction is not outrageous by Hollywood standards.

Update: No Bail for you!