Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Reviews

One Second After: some thoughts

Someone recommended that I read this book by William Forstchen, whose resume is breathtaking:

WILLIAM R. FORSTCHEN has a Ph.D. from Purdue University with specializations in Military History and the History of Technology. He is a Faculty Fellow and Professor of History at Montreat College.  He is the author of over forty books, including

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Book Review: Glenn Beck’s “Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns”

Glenn Beck’s latest book, “Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns,” is a disappointment, on many levels. Beck cranks his books out so rapidly that he must utilize the skills and experience of experts to give the book credibility and substance. There’s nothing wrong with that but it can be overdone. And Beck overdoes it.

The best that can be said about the book is that it is

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“Control: Exposing the Truth about Guns” by Glenn Beck

His latest book arrived on Tuesday on my Kindle and I read it into the wee hours last night. I’m not finished with it but I thought I’d pass on some initial reactions to it in case you’re thinking of getting a copy.

Beck cranks these out on a regular basis using the skills, abilities and experience of others. I think that’s a good strategy, but

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Florida Update: Concealed Carry Permits Up, Violent Crime Down

The recent report from ABC News that in Florida, where there are more concealed weapons permits than anywhere else in the country, violent crime has dropped to the lowest point in history, delighted Sean Caranna, executive director of Florida Carry, Inc. He said,

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My critique of Mitchell’s critique of Ryan’s budget plan

It isn’t often that I conclude that Dan Mitchell misses the mark, but this time I do. He has a rule: “The private sector should grow faster than the government.” I like my rule better:

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Here’s another reason I’m not going to see Lincoln

Tony Kushner is the screenwriter for the movie Lincoln. Gary North has uncovered a video of Charlie Rose interviewing Kushner. It won’t take you long to come to the same conclusion: this guy is so far off the mark that anything he might have to say about Lincoln is going to be

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My review of Promised Land

Promised Land  is one of the most slanted, devious, vicious, sophisticated pieces of propaganda that I’ve ever seen. It makes the entire natural gas drilling industry appear to be corrupt, devious, greedy, rapacious and repellent.

Steve Butler (Matt Damon) is introduced as the good guy, earnest, sincere, believing fully in his product – that fracking is safe and profitable to land owners signing leases to Global, Butler’s company (with $9 billion in assets), who wants to drill.

Butler sees it as easy money for the land owners who

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Lincoln Movie Fools Critics

Lincoln

Lincoln (Photo credit: ehpien)

Suzanne Fields thinks every school child ought to rush out to see the latest Lincoln movie:

Every school child with enough smarts and curiosity to get beyond the latest video game of “Call of Duty” ought to go see “Lincoln,” the movie, and check out the references and his own attention span. It requires patience, but it shows through dramatic action how a self-taught rustic from the deep backwoods had the emotional and intellectual discipline to overcome poverty and grow up to be a president to rank among the greatest.

She even praises him while he’s riding through a battlefield filled with the corpses of young men who “died for freedom”:

The most poignant evocation of war shows Lincoln riding through a field of ripped and rotting corpses, and Lincoln takes off his stovepipe hat in homage to the dead, North and South and Americans all. This is not a hymn to “arms and the man” so much as a long mournful dirge played on the strings of banjos, fiddles and the keys of a parlor piano. It’s as gritty and earthbound as the America of Mark Twain.

Tom DiLorenzo takes a vastly different view, and he has done his homework. It’s too bad that Fields apparently isn’t aware of how slanted and disingenuous Spielberg’s movie really is.  Here’s what DiLorenzo thinks about the movie. He

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Book Review: Vindicating Lincoln, by Thomas Krannawitter

Cover of "Vindicating Lincoln: Defending ...

Cover via Amazon

Those who have not read any critiques of Abraham Lincoln will be at a loss to understand why the 16th president would need to be vindicated in the first place. Upon investigating the matter further, however, the reader may come to the place of Benjamin Franklin, who wrote:

Having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise.

And so the first thing Professor Krannawitter does is dip into the increasingly large well of those critiques first, to explore the charges at length, and then attempt to respond in Lincoln’s favor.

This, according to Krannawitter, isn’t just an intellectual exercise:

When critics attempt to knock Lincoln out of the pantheon of American heroes, they add to the growing cynicism of American politics. After all, if Americans come to believe that the president reputed to be the greatest was in truth a scoundrel unworthy of respect, then surely they will view all lesser politicians as such, adding to the mistaken idea that there is nothing noble or beautiful about politics…

His opening chapter serves to illustrate the enormous difficulty Krannawitter faces in

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Movie Review: Red Dawn (2012)

Red Dawn

Red Dawn

Spokane, Washington is the target of an invasion of parachute troops from North Korea in this remake of the 1984 John Milius-directed film, Red Dawn. A rag-tag team of teen-age guerillas calling themselves the Wolverines escapes to the woods and trains to become a “tiny flea that can drive a big dog crazy,” as proposed by the team’s leader, Jed Eckert (Chris Hemsworth).

The theme is a decision that each member of the team must make on his or her own regarding the fight: get involved and fight for home, family and country, or not. A subtheme is the reconciliation of Jed with his younger brother Matt (Josh Peck) who finally resolve their differences under the pressure of increasing resistance by the enemy.

Underlying it all is the main theme: resistance to tyranny.

Many of the action sequences are lifted from the original film including the ambush scene where one of the team members, Toni (Adrianne Palicki) baits some soldiers into chasing her around the corner of a building. They are met and gunned down by other team members who then ransack the bodies for their weapons and ammunition, giving them the additional firepower they desperately need to

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New Red Dawn Movie Incongruous, Chilling

Red Dawn Movie Poster

Red Dawn Movie Poster

My editor at The New American asked me to go see Red Dawn (2012) and do a review of it for TNA’s online blog. That’s like getting paid to eat ice cream!

So I went to the theatre with my daughter yesterday before the Thanksgiving Day festivities began at our home, and I thought I’d share some initial thoughts about the movie. There’ll be a more serious review that will appear here later in the day, but for now, here are some of my initial impressions.

When the attack began, it didn’t make much sense. I’ve always enjoyed the James Bond movies because, at least in the early iterations the story line was believable. It teetered often on the far edge of credibility but there was always enough logic to it take make sense. When the attacks began the movie reached the edge of credibity…and then jumped off into space. It became almost silly: the North Koreans are attacking us! 

What?  Who? How? Why? There were hundreds of bombers in the air dropping parachutists onto Seattle. They looked like World War II bombers. Where did they come from? North Korea? A country that can’t afford to feed it’s people or turn on the lights at night has mounted a full-scale attack on America’s west coast? Come on, now! Really? Let’s get real, as the kids say. Did these fly over from NK across the Pacific? Where are they going to land? Where was their staging point?

You get the idea. It took awhile for this incongruity to wear off.

But once I got past that, the movie took on some very real and resonant meaning. And it raised a number of questions. How prepared are we (as citizens) to resist and repel such an attack? Answer: not very. The brothers had a cabin in the mountains where they had stashed some provisions and weapons. How many people have done that, I wonder? Not many, I bet.

The story line was very close to the original Red Dawn, and there were lots of other questions raised. There were some pieces missing, too, but in all it was an enjoyable and thought-provoking experience. My daughter enjoyed it as well – she called it “intense” and said later that her stomach hurt from holding her breath for 90 minutes!

It was $13 well spent.

Atlas Shrugged Part 2 was Eerie, Chilling, Disappointing and Affirming

Atlas Shrugged, Part 2 - Movie PosterPart 2 of the trilogy of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged was, by turns, eerie, chilling, disappointing and affirming. With twice the budget of Part 1 it is broader in scope with a closer adherence to Ayn Rand’s original novel. With a new cast, many had high expectations. In some respects it succeeded, in others it was a dismal failure.

Opening like a James Bond thriller, Dagny Taggart (Samantha Mathis) is driving her private jet at maximum velocity in an attempt to catch another pilot over the Colorado mountains. She cries out in exasperation the theme that appears throughout the movie: “Who is John Galt?” The implication is that the other pilot has the answer.

The film flashes back to her frustration nine months earlier when she is unable to learn who the inventor is of an energy generator that operates on static electricity – developing essentially free energy with no pollution. The story line is simplicity itself: creative entrepreneurs are deemed to be enemies of the state and their capital (including their patents, ideas and inventions) must be forcibly relinquished – “gifted” in the movie –  to the state, all in the name of egalitarianism.

With six protagonists and five antagonists, the film could have been simple to produce. But with 56 other secondary characters, some assuming major but brief roles in the film, the story line is

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Don’t Bother Seeing 2016: Obama’s America?

I lost an hour and a half of my life Sunday at a matinee showing of the sleeper-hit documentary “2016: Obama’s America.” But I kept the stub for tax purposes, and you get to read this column. With luck, we’ll both end up just slightly worse off for the experience.

President Barack Obama and Speaker of the Hous...

President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at the US Capitol. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gene Healy is a VP at Cato, one of my favorite think tanks, but I think he has successfully missed the main point of the movie: Obama is a mystery, and D’Souza is trying to figure it out.

Healy uses the rhetorical device of belittlement to misdirect the conversation:

D’Souza, “2016′s” narrator, stresses his commonalities with the president: born the same year, both with third-world parentage, both steeped in an anticolonial tradition. “I get it,” D’Souza assures us, which is why he alone has the secret decoder ring that can explain Obama’s positions on the war on terror, Israel, the Falkland Islands and much else besides.

This even applies to Obamacare:

Then there was the health care bill” D’Souza segues. But who needs a decoder ring to explain why, like every Democratic president of the post-WWII era save Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama pushed for universal health insurance? Does “anticolonialism” explain Obama’s embrace of a plan cooked up in a conservative think tank and first implemented by his 2012 Republican opponent?

This is misdirection of the first order. Just because Obama (more accurately, Nancy Pelosi and her thuggery) got Obamacare passed by Congress when other presidents couldn’t, doesn’t diminish the impact of it on

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“Trouble with the Curve” starring Eastwood, Adams and Timberlake

USA Today – “Trouble with the Curve:” No home run

There’s nothing that remotely approaches a narrative curve ball in this tired saga of an aging baseball scout.

Actress Amy Adams

Actress Amy Adams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just saw “Trouble with the Curve” last night. I don’t think Ms. Puig, USAToday’s reviewer, saw the same movie. But then, I don’t get out to the movies very much anymore.

“Tired saga?” I must have missed something. This wasn’t a movie about an “aging baseball scout” at all: it was about reconciliation between father and daughter. And I thought it was sweet. And I think Amy Adams is a remarkable actress.

Mary and I have enjoyed watching her in “Julie and Julia” several times, and I was glad to see her expand her role in this one.

Puig, however, saw something different from what I saw:

Everything about this story (which Eastwood did not direct or write) follows the most obvious road map. Even his character’s name is a glaringly conventional choice: Gus. Is there a more obvious moniker for a grumpy old guy?

What? Where did that come from?

A veteran scout for the Atlanta Braves, Gus is fighting a losing battle with his eyesight, but he’s determined to remain on the job. Macular degeneration would seem to be a major handicap in his line of work, but luckily Gus can tell a good pitch just by the crack of the bat.

Maybe he can. Maybe he can’t. But this is irrelevant to the theme of the story. His daughter reluctantly helps him out. She makes the first of several attempts to reconnect with her father by working the games with him.

Puig finally gets it: reconciliation, along with a little romance:

It’s pretty clear that a romance is in the offing, though Adams and Timberlake [Johnny, the love interest] don’t have much chemistry. It’s also glaringly evident that some kind of reconciliation looms between father and daughter.

Upon leaving the theatre I bumped into some old friends who asked why Eastwood made the movie. What an interesting question! I think he made it to help Amy along in her career. It was, in my opinion, an act of selflessness by Eastwood.

I thought the movie was sweet, and I’m glad I went to see it.

Is the “2016″ Movie Impacting the Election?

Valerie Richardson - Impact of ‘2016’ on 2012 presidential race uncertain

As of last weekend, “2016” had grossed more than $30 million, making it the second-highest-grossing political documentary and fifth-highest documentary of all time. It appears poised to climb still higher, given that it continues to play on 1,876 screens after opening in wide release Aug. 24, according to Box Office Mojo.

I hope you’ve had a chance to see the movie “2016: Obama’s America.” I have, and previously reviewed it.

That doesn’t mean that I thought the movie was accurate or profound. What I found remarkable, and still do, is the number of people seeing it. They are hungry for information about the president. They know they’ve been kept in the dark about his past. And that’s a good thing. D’Souza admits it:

There is a hunger for information about Obama. Americans feel that they don’t have the full story and the film supplies the missing pieces.

Well, not exactly. My editor at The New American has asked me to do a lengthy piece for the print magazine on “What Makes Obama Tick.” That’s a working title only. But what I’ve found is that D’Souza’s basic premise – that Obama is reflecting the ideology of his dead father – is wrong. Obama is no “anti-colonialist.” He is the worst type of “neo-colonialist” in that he wants to put everyone in the country back on the plantation.

But the movie does get a lot of things right, especially his “founding fathers” – communist revolutionaries and liberation theologians. Nothing was said about George Soros, unfortunately, or Saul Alinsky. So there are some gaping holes in understanding the real Obama.

But this misses the point. Millions of people are going to see this movie. And that is confirming their suspicion that something is amiss. What comes across is that he shouldn’t be reelected.

The reviewers don’t like it. (Big surprise.) But the viewers who paid money to see it, loved it:

Only three of 14 “major critics” listed on the Rotten Tomatoes website gave the film a positive review, with reviewers describing it as everything from “a vicious, larger-than-life racist lie” to “deeply boring.”

On the other hand, 77 percent of moviegoers gave it a positive rating.

Old Smear Tactics Leveled at the “2016″ Movie

Gerald Molen - First They Ignored Us, Then They Called Us Names, Now We’re The #2 Political Documentary Of All Time; My Response To My Movie 2016 Being Labeled “Racist”

It deeply offends me to read reviews labeling me and my fellow filmmakers as racists or bigots or comparing us to Nazis. Their obvious hatred and bias seemingly overwhelms their ability to write a negative review without resorting to the lowest of degrading observations.

Molen is the producer of the film “2016 Obama’s America” which is making the rounds across the country, and is beginning to catch the attention of the left. Molen has produced five films with Steven Spielberg, including “Schindler’s List.” He is no lightweight or late-comer.

And yet he is offended, which indicates that he, even now, doesn’t understand the enemy bent on destroying the country. That enemy, and the mouthpieces and useful idiots enlisted in the cause, have no interest whatever in being “fair” or “objective” or “transparent.” Their goal is to besmirch the man, and thus his movie, so that the average Joe decides not to see it. And that’s the point.

I’m very familiar with this tactic. When I joined the John Birch Society back in 1967 I had to work my way past the attacks on the JBS which was accused of being filled with “racists,” “haters,” “Nazis” and “anti-Semites.”  The attackers, I soon found out, had no interest in the facts. One fact in particular stands out: the JBS had a Jew on its board of directors, and friendly relations with the Jewish community in general. But I found that iterating that provable fact meant nothing to the society’s detractors.

Molen refuses to admit to the obvious:

It raises the question “why are some on the left of the political spectrum so indoctrinated by their masters that they lose all sense of decency and/or intelligent reasoning?” This is such a loss for journalism.

Mr. Molen, sir, it has nothing to do with decency or reasoning. It has to do with the war we are involved in. It does no good to blame these attacks on lack of good judgment or loss of journalistic ethics. It has to do with tactics of war: if it works, do more of it.

Obama’s America: 2016 Movie Review

Recently released in Texas and now being presented at some 400 theaters across the country, conservative scholar Dinesh D’Souza has, with the help of Gerald Molen (“Schindler’s List”) and John Sullivan, produced a documentary in “2016″ which persuasively projects a frightening future for America: emaciated in military power, weakened financially, with diminished allies such as Israel in a world increasingly dangerous and threatening.

D’Souza starts out by proving his status not as an ideologue but as a patriot with roots in India who loves the opportunities this country has given him that would scarcely be possible back home. He persuades his audience that he only seeks to understand how a man like Obama, with so many similarities (born in the same year, married in the same year, attended Ivy League schools at the same time) could come out with such a different, even radical, point of view about America.

Based on his two books about Obama (“The Roots of Obama’s Rage” and “Obama’s America”) D’Souza concentrates on Obama’s autobiography, “Dreams From My Father” and begins with the thesis that because it is not entitled “Dreams OF My Father” it provides an essential clue into that thinking: that Obama has internalized the anti-colonial ideology of a man he scarcely knew.

D’Souza said, “One of the themes in the movie is the anti-colonial goal of downsizing America in the name of global justice. So the core idea here is that America has become a rogue nation in the world and also that America enjoys a standard of living that is unconscionably high compared to the rest of the world. So anti-colonialism is a program of global reparations…It’s reparations for global injustice. Obama’s goal is to shrink America.”

There are significant gaps in the movie that cry out for remedy and explanation. First, there is a persuasive argument put forth by

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Glenn Beck’s “Cowards” is Uneven, Exasperating and Valuable

Glenn Beck at Restoring Honor

With the help of 14 writers and seven contributors and researchers, Glenn Beck has burst forth with another book that expresses his unique style: fulminating, ranting, exploding, rollicking, sardonic, eclectic, and intemperate. Beck and friends have written 11 best sellers and seven of them have reached the #1 position on the New York Times best seller list. Cowards will no doubt be number eight.

There is much valuable information contained here, some of which is surprising even to those who consider themselves well-read. For instance, who is Madison Grant? You’ll find out starting on page eight. There is no index to his book, so you’ll have to find out the hard way, by reading it. Grant wrote The Passing of the Great Race in 1916, which exposed the Progressive movement’s fascination with eugenics, or ethnic cleansing. What’s more important is learning how many of the Progressive Era’s leading lights favored Grant’s position that “the laws of nature require the obliteration of the unfit” and “human life is valuable only when it is of use to the community or race.”

The reader will be exasperated at Beck’s setting up of a straw man in his caricature of Ron Paul’s foreign policy position, and then destroying it, not with reason and logic, but with

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“UN Me” Movie Unmasks the United Nations

United Nations

Ami Horowitz, the producer and director of the movie UN Me, was motivated by the way Michael Moore interwove humor into his 2002 “documentary” Bowling for Columbine to do something similar with the United Nations. “Say what you will about Michael Moore, the guy knows how to make an entertaining and powerful film,” Horowitz told The Daily Caller.

Horowitz added:

We are dealing with very difficult issues ultimately—very heavy stuff—and to do it without levity, I thought, would be a recipe for disaster. Nobody wants to sit there for 90 minutes…watching terrible images cross the screen, so I knew humor had to be a part of it.

In his film, Horowitz does an expert job presenting the “very heavy stuff” exposing the corruption of the widely revered UN institution—so expert in fact that his exposure swamps the levity. But it is the information and not the humor that’s important, and Horowitz cannot be blamed for the fact that his information is shocking not humorous. What he has wrought is one of the most terrifyingly horrific presentations of the truth about the United Nations ever captured on celluloid.

UN Me, which opened Friday in 11 cities, starts out almost apologetically, pointing out some small amount of good the UN has performed over the years. But this was done clearly to set up the viewer for what’s to come, including: 

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The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama

The Amateur is more about the man—his hubris, his arrogance, his naiveté—than it is about his ideology because the author, a member of the insider Council on Foreign Relations, an influential group that promotes the diminishing of our country’s constitutional structure and the ceding of U.S. sovereignty to a transnational global government such as the United Nations, no doubt shares that ideology.

Klein is a certified member of the establishment elite, having graduated from Columbia University with two degrees and having been a foreign affairs editor at Newsweek magazine and a former editor of the New York Times Magazine. It was the latter position that allowed him the opportunity to interview nearly 200 individuals who are acquainted, some of them intimately, with the current White House occupant while protecting Klein and his book from attack by the Obama “Kool-Aid drinkers” as he calls the mindless, witless journalists and historians who have supported Obama from the beginning.

Klein takes his reader into a private, off-the-record dinner meeting at the White House early in the Obama administration, attended by nine liberal historians, each of whom supported the new President and were celebrating his victory. During that dinner the President spelled out his

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.

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