When it comes to fiction—in print or in film—I vigorously avoid reading reviews, or even summaries of the story, because I want the author to have the full pleasure of unfolding his tale to me personally. That’s been a very difficult practice to maintain with the book I finally decided to read this weekend: Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
I bought the book so long ago, the page edges have yellowed ever so slightly. I skipped seeing it in the theaters because I much prefer to read a story first. But the movie keeps creeping up higher in my Netflix queue, so I rescued it from my “frivolous” to-read pile (as opposed to the variously sorted to-read piles of “the great books,” “scholarly studies,” “popular political writings” and the extremely dusty “beginning Latin”). I wish I hadn’t waited so long.
I’m barely a quarter of the way through it, just been introduced to the various characters and themes, but so far, I’m finding it very conservative in an oddly quirky, Tea Party-ish kind of way. (Religious conservatives of a fundamentalist or orthodox nature might be off-put by Pi’s pantheism—devoutly practicing Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, simultaneously, to the dismay of his priest, imam and pandit and the bemusement of his nonreligious parents, all to whom he explains he just wants to love God. But the manner in which Martel writes about religion through the eyes of Pi is very respectful, espousing fundamental beliefs and heralding Pi’s wish to be religious even in the face of mockery and attempts to stop him.)
This surprises me because, even though I haven’t read all the glorious reviews of the book and film, I know most of them had to have been written by liberals. That makes me trepidacious that later in the book, suddenly Pi is going to reject religion and go on a tirade against it. How else could liberals love it? But then the book starts with the warning that the tale “will make you believe in God.” So I read on to get to the bottom of this perplexing mystery.
But it’s not just in the area of religion that I find the book to have conservative tendencies, but also in political philosophy about capitalism. It’s here that I came to a passage that I just had to stop and record.
Pi’s father runs a small zoo in India. While not politically active, he is no fan of Indira Ghandi’s socialist policies, and when she began her harsh crackdown and ruling by decree, he had enough. He decided to uproot his family and business and move to Canada. Martel sums up his rationale beautifully:
People move because of the wear and tear of anxiety. Because of the gnawing feeling that no matter how hard they work their efforts will yield nothing, that what they build up in one year will be torn down in one day by others. Because of the impression that the future is blocked up, that they might do all right but not their children. Because of the feeling that nothing will change, that happiness and prosperity are possible only somewhere else.
He’s writing about India in the 1970s, but it’s amazing how apt that description is for so many people across America today in the 2010s. For some in states like California and Maryland, where the governments are determined to soak the money makers and businesses to fund their progressive folly, they have the freer states to which they can flee.
But when looked at from a national perspective, as our government tightens the yoke on its productive citizens and progressives howl for even more government control, where can the anxious move? As America is transformed into a second-rate European socialist barnacle on the Earth, where is that “somewhere else” where happiness and prosperity are possible?
I was going to inaugurate Caturday videos at PrudencePaine.com today, but with CPAC going on, there’s too much good video to pass up.
So here’s CPACturday video. No, that doesn’t work. Here’s three of my favorite conservative women getting catty with the GOP establishment and/or the Obamas. Enjoy!
Phyllis Schlafly lays out some hard-hitting lines here. Unfortunately, it sounds like the room had cleared out after Sarah Palin left the stage just moments before. If you missed it, here’s a chance to see it (along with the introduction by Steven Crowder):
It is with a great sigh of relief that I note the end of this dreadful year. So much potential for happiness and prosperity got crushed every time there seemed to be hope.
But tomorrow is another day, a brand-new start. It’s our chance to pick up broken dreams, dust them off and polish them up…and get down to the hard (and enjoyable) work of making them come true.
So a toast to everyone on the eve of leaving the bad behind and stepping into the future wiser and more determined than ever. It’s up to us to make our own health, wealth and happiness a reality. I think we can do it, with a little help from our friends.
A new movie has hit select theaters, but you can see the movie now—either on DVD or through live streaming to your TV from Amazon or Video on Demand.
The movie: Occupy Unmasked. An expose on the Occupy Wall Street movement and mindset. A short summary of the film from the OccupyUnmasked.com website reads:
While the Liberal establishment and mainstream media portray the Occupy Wall Street movement as organic and nonviolent, Occupy Unmasked reveals the sinister, organized, and highly orchestrated nature of its leaders and their number one goal: Not just to change government, but to destroy it.
Led by hugely influential conservative visionary, the late Andrew Breitbart, Occupy Unmasked delves deep beneath the surface of the Occupy movement to show its dark anarchist roots. Behind the largely naïve students and legitimately concerned citizens looking for answers stand those who advocate the use of violence, black bloc operations, and intimidation as protest tactics – the same tactics they used during the anti-war protests of the 1960′s, anti-nuclear weapons protests of the 80′s, WTO protests of the 90′s, and the IMF protests of recent years.
Take a look at the Occupy Unmasked movie trailer:
From the tidbits I’ve seen and all I’ve heard, this is quite an eye-opening look at this chaotic movement, and one that needs to be seen by anyone who supports or holds romantic notions about Occupy Wall Street. (I’ll post my review later once I resolve my technical streaming issues and can finally view the film. I’m very excited to see it.)
Another good reason to support this movie: It’s a production of Citizens United. Yes, that Citizens United. The one that won the US Supreme Court free political speech case that President Barack Obama used to scold SCOTUS court justices at his State of the Union and whose efforts drive liberals into a frothing tizzy.
Back in 2009, the satire website The Onion did a spoof on how the media avoided doing any negative story on Barack Obama. Ann Coultertweeted a link to it yesterday (with no mention of it being three years old), and it just goes to show how the media has, if anything, grown more protective of him—especially in the wake of the AlQaeda murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens on 9/11 2012.
WASHINGTON—More than a week after President Barack Obama’s cold-blooded killing of a local couple, members of the American news media admitted Tuesday that they were still trying to find the best angle for covering the gruesome crime.
“I know there’s a story in there somewhere,” said Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, referring to Obama’s home invasion and execution-style slaying of Jeff and Sue Finowicz on Apr. 8. “Right now though, it’s probably best to just sit back and wait for more information to come in. After all, the only thing we know for sure is that our president senselessly murdered two unsuspecting Americans without emotion or hesitation.”
Added Meacham, “It’s not so cut and dried.”
Since the killings took place, reporters across the country have struggled to come up with an appropriate take on the ruthless crime, with some wondering whether it warrants front-page coverage, and others questioning its relevance in a fast-changing media landscape.
“What exactly is the news hook here?” asked Rick Kaplan, executive producer of the CBS Evening News. “Is this an upbeat human-interest story about a ‘day in the life’ of a bloodthirsty president who likes to kill people? Or is it more of an examination of how Obama’s unusual upbringing in Hawaii helped to shape the way he would one day viciously butcher two helpless citizens in their own home?”
“Or maybe the story is just that murder is cool now,” Kaplan continued. “I don’t know. There are a million different angles on this one.”
So far, the president’s double-homicide has not been covered by any major news outlets. The only two mentions of the heinous tragedy have been a 100-word blurb on the Associated Press wire and an obituary on page E7 of this week’s edition of the Lake County Examiner.
While Obama has expressed no remorse for the grisly murders—point-blank shootings with an unregistered .38-caliber revolver—many journalists said it would be irresponsible for the press to sensationalize the story.
“There’s been some debate around the office about whether we should report on this at all,” Washington Post seniorreporter Bill Tracy said while on assignment at a local dog show. “It’s enough of a tragedy without the press jumping in and pointing fingers or, worse, exploiting the violence. Plus, we need to be sensitive to the victims’ families at this time. Their loved ones were brutally, brutally murdered, after all.”
Since the media enjoy special protections, get unique access to people and places from which the hoi polloi are excluded, I’d suggest a professional oath of objectivity. But would that be the thing that would finally make them shape up and do their jobs properly? No. Our President, Congress and cabinet members take a loyalty oath to protect and defend the Constitution—the foremost priority of their jobs—and they often ignore that pledge, with no penalty. Oaths don’t seem to mean much anymore.
Plus the profession already has a code of ethics. Take a look at it. It is laughable (cry-able?) how few of the mainstream media political reporters actually abide by a tenth of these simple Society of Professional Journalists rules.
This week, The Soup (a half-hour E! show that plays reality tv and talk show clips from the past week to humorously illustrate the sad state of television and pop culture) went after one of their favorite right-wing targets: the Fox News morning show, Fox and Friends.
Unfortunately, instead of finding a genuine blunder or kooky moment, The Soup’s host Joel McHale mocked Fox anchor Steve Doocy for joking about a gaffe made by Vice President Joe Biden. The Soup apparently thought it funny to make it seem like it is Steve, not Joe, who’s dumb.
Take a look:
If you’re wondering about the new segment that uses the catty intro for clips from Brian Williams’ show Rock Center, they used to have a link on their website to view it, but currently it goes to an OOPS page. Keep clicking the link. Maybe they’ll finally put it up for all the world to see.
Yet it doesn’t stop there. Last week, Barack Obama’s campaign chairman sent out a fundraising email with the subject line of “Let’s win the damn election.” Damn? Damn election? Is that vulgarity necessary? Does the Obama campaign believe that the use of coarse language will turn an unsuccessful plea into a successful one?
All this has been well reported of late, but it struck me hard this weekend when I was reading two different books about the Obamas. I was surprised to find it’s not just their subordinates that talk like sailors.
In the first, The Amateur, the author Edward Klein quotes a Chicago television reporter, Charles Thomas, who was speaking with Michelle Obama in the station’s green room moments before they were to do an on-air interview:
“…I asked, ‘Michelle, how are the kids? We want to talk to you about the Time magazine piece.’ And she rose up out of her chair. She’s a lot taller than I am. And she put her hand on her hip and glared down at me. Waving her forefinger at me, she said, ‘Charles, don’t you try that shit with me or I’ll walk out of here!”
That came to me as a surprise that she would use such language so casually.
Then as I was later reading Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father, the same sort of thing arose in the very first scene on the first page of Chapter 1:
When the weather was good, my roommate and I might sit out on the fire escape to smoke cigarettes and study the dusk washing blue over the city, or watch white people from the better neighborhoods nearby walk their dogs down our block to let the animals shit on our curbs—”Scoop the poop, you bastards!” my roommate would shout with impressive rage, and we’d laugh at the faces of both master and beast, grim and unapologetic as they hunkered down to do the deed.
I enjoyed such moments—but only in brief. If the talk began to wander, or cross the border into familiarity, I would soon find reason to excuse myself.
Wow. The sentiments expressed there, so full of anger and racism, and premised on a racist, class-warfare lie: no rich white New Yorker is gonna walk their dog from a cushy neighborhood to some crime-ridden one with barking dobermans so that their dog can take a poop. And yet in this bizarre fantasy world Obama has constructed, he and his roommate seething with “impressive rage” get to force white people to pick up excrement. This is who we elected President of the United States?
So I guess I should stop being surprised at the filthy language coming out of the Obama campaign. Apparently it just rolls naturally off the tongues, and pens, of everyone there, from top to bottom. We’ve known that they are deficient in sound American ideas to govern the country; apparently they are also deficient in the level of vocabulary used to communicate outside of a saloon.
Now in the wide universe of infinite possibilities, it *is* possible that some teenager or random gang SWATted Walker, but it’s also highly unlikely. Because, just as with the other three conservative SWATting victims (Mike Stack, Patrick “Patterico” Frey and Erick Erickson), this SWATting seems meant as retribution for his political speech and to shut him up, if not out of fear then permanently.
I believe the left has become emboldened enough to send SWAT teams to the homes of their political foes because the leaders of the left and the mainstream media have done nothing to express outrage or utter even a simple “tsk, tsk” at such vile, vicious behavior. And if they aren’t going to investigate and cover attempted murder and assault with a deadly SWAT team against conservative bloggers, then these reporters are truly gonna hit the snooze button when the bloggers are merely being run out of their house or having their family creepily cyber-stalked.
Instead, when some crazy essentially non-political person goes berserk and guns down a crowd of people, including a Democrat congresswoman, the media and the Democratic party go wild trying to blame it on Republicans—who had absolutely nothing to do with it. They point frenziedly at Sarah Palin, shrieking that she caused the shooter’s insanity with her campaign material that used a target graphic—a graphic long used by both parties. The media repeat the phony story and the Democrats’ manufactured demand that the Republicans had been take a new tone.
But for nearly 10 months now, someone has been trying to kill outspoken Republicans. Where is the media on this story? More importantly, where is law enforcement?
This isn’t a one-off incident, such as when a “white hispanic” killed a black youth, that has become a major months-long media obsession. This is a repeated targeting of individuals engaged in conservative political speech. And the person or persons committing this crime appears to be getting away with it, especially when the media protects them (intentionally or not) with a cloak of silence.
The left-biased media apparently has no curiosity, let alone concern or outrage, over this First Amendment terrorism. They apparently feel protected in their citadels, secure in the belief that no one would ever send a SWAT team to their home with a prank caller claiming to be them, saying he’d just killed their family. So the #RealReporters have no affinity for the #JustABloggers under the gun, literally.
Is someone going to have to be actually killed before a big, bright spotlight gets shined on this abhorrent practice?
Even if they couldn’t report for sure who was behind the SWATting, there’s a rule of thumb in journalism that once something becomes a trend, it’s newsworthy. What’s considered a trend? When you can cite three examples of it. Well, hello, mainstream media, we just went from three to four verifiable, documented examples.
Could the media’s lack of coverage be based on or heavily influenced by their political bias? Many of the mainstream reporters don’t much like what we right-wing bloggers have to say, and they certainly don’t like our criticism of their reporting. They aren’t all that anxious to do us any favors.
If Arianna Huffington or Markos Moulitsas or David Brock were SWATted, they wouldn’t be able to get their satellite trucks to the crime scene fast enough. (I’d name some low-level liberal bloggers here too, except I confess I don’t read them enough to have their names come to mind, but you can bet many of the mainstream news people and their staffers do—and would feel like a friend and colleague had been attacked instead of some random right-wing nutjob *they’ve* never heard of.)
But I do know that no one I know would laugh at or applaud any sort of intimidating or terroristic attacks on our political opponents. I know many of us would, without hesitation, loudly decry such attacks and join the call to investigate and stop it.
It’s time that the media stopped protecting the wacko(s) with their silence. It’s time that they joined forces with everyone who values the freedom to speak your mind without fear of death. It’s time that they did their share to support the First Amendment for speech they may not particularly like.
In the meantime, it’s up to me and you, dear reader, to sound the clarion call for action until they pick up their giant megaphones and turn on their blinding searchlights.
WHAT TO DO:
1) Contact the media and fair-minded lefty bloggers (there’s got to be one or two on this planet) and respectfully ask them to report on this trend. Let them know that you are alarmed by it and afraid someone will get hurt or killed if this swatter(s) is allowed to remain in the shadows of a media blackout.
2) Contact Congress and other governmental authorities. Fortunately, some of our Congressional representatives are as alarmed as the conservative blogosphere is about these attempted murders. Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL) initiated a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking for an investigation of the SWATtings and garnered 87 co-signers. (Breitbart.com got an exclusive statement from her on Walker’s SWATting.) Check the signers of the letter to see if your Congressman is one of them.
If he is, write him, thank him and alert him to this latest SWATting with links to the story.
If your Congressman is *not* one of the signers, write him and ask him to please add his name to the bill, noting that this certainly falls under his oath to protect and defend the Constitution.
(As the Spokane Examiner noted earlier this month, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX) also put in requests to Holder, which generated a smattering of mainstream media mentions, proving that government action can prod the media into reporting something, no matter how reluctantly.)
Back on National Bloggers Day of Silence, AceOfSpades, Michelle Malkin and Mandy Nagy (among others) posted citizen action information and links. Check their posts out for guidelines of how to contact and where to contact key people with the power to protect the freedom to blog.
The right too often plays nice in these situations—and we lose little bits of our freedom every time. Take a moment today, right now before you forget, to write at least one quick note. We can still be nice, just not silent.
For those click-challenged folks who what their action information with no effort, here direct from Michelle Malkin’s site is a fine list of key persons to contact (in addition to your own Congressman and Senators, of course):
GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor Web form
Phone: (202) 225-2815
Fax: (202) 225-0011 Twitter
Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Web form
Phone: (202) 225-4965 Twitter
GOP Rep. Frank Wolf (Va.) – Ask him to investigate Kimberlin-related charities.
Phone: (202) 225-5136
Fax: (202) 225-0437 Twitter
GOP Rep. Darrell Issa Web form
Fax: 202-225-3303 Twitter
US Department of Justice
Office of the Attorney General Public Comment Line – 202-353-1555
Email AskDOJ@usdoj.gov Twitter
More people to call:
John McCarthy – Please ask for justice in Aaron Walker’s case
State’s Attorney for Montgomery County
50 Maryland Avenue, 5th Floor
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Assistant United States Attorney Robert Dugdale – Please ask for justice in Patrick Frey’s case
The United States Attorney’s Office
Central District of California
312 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90012
There’s no time like now to do it. Be a First Amendment Freedom Fighter. Don’t let the #FreedomToBlog get SWATted away.
If you are interested in learning more about protecting these rights and defending conservative bloggers against such risks to themselves and their families, the Franklin Center is conducting a webinar tonight at 9:30pm Eastern time. Aaron Walker will speak about his ordeal, while other speakers will include some of the most prominent conservative bloggers from around the nation.
Tonight at 9:30pm EDT, The Franklin Center joins Lee Stranahan, Mandy Nagy, and last night’s SWATting victim Aaron Walker on a webinar to discuss recent attacks on bloggers and the suppression of free speech.
Information on tonight’s webinar is below. Learn what is at stake and learn how to protect yourself and your act of journalism.
The webinar had some harrowing tales and excellent information on resources to combat those who wish to stifle blogger speech. The Franklin Center says they will post the audio of the event. Once they do, I’ll link it here.
I am woefully late to the “Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day” that Lee Stranahan set up for May 25. (Click the link to view Lee‘s video about Kimberlin.) Due to all my traveling and work on my Big Project these past couple of weeks, I’ve been able to do little more than retweet various blog posts about the surreal saga of Kimberlin et al and their war on conservative bloggers. The story has unfolded with jaw-dropping turns of events every few days, making it difficult to even put together an up-to-date collection of links.
However, Ace of Spades created today as National Silence Day for blogs to protest the lack of coverage the story has gotten in the mainstream media and from government representatives and officials empowered to protect citizens from such abuse of the judicial system. Michelle Malkin’s column today does a great round-up of the story to date.
It’s quite amazing that the media has not flocked to this story, as this tale should concern—if not, alarm—every citizen who values free speech and decency in public discourse.
I’ll post my own collection of links later as an update to this post, but if you’d like to begin where I did when I first learned about , I suggest starting here:
Then be sure to take a moment to contact your congressional representative to be sure they are aware of what is happening to bloggers across the country. (See the end of Malkin’s post for some great contact info of others as well.)