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Movie Matters

Fast and Furious About Race

By 4.15.15

Talk about a “race” issue. It turns out Furious 7 — the seventh installment in the Fast and the Furious franchise (whew!) — boasts a massively non-white audience.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, 75 percent of the audience for the fuel-drenched film’s opening weekend was comprised of non-white folk. This despite the main star being the late, and white, Paul Walker (who in 2013 died in a tragically ironic car accident):

Buy the Book

An American WWII Pilot’s Tormented Rescue Mission on the Eastern Front

By 4.15.15

Beyond the Call: The True Story of One World War II Pilot’s Covert Mission to Rescue POWs on the Eastern Front
By Lee Trimble and Jeremy Dronfield
(Berkley Caliber, 323 pages, $26.95)

Beyond the Call is an inspiring but uncomfortable read. Inspiring because it shows an American hero and patriot bravely performing his duty under the most difficult and dangerous circumstances. Uncomfortable because it shows our hero being tested to the limit and beyond, seeing about the worst the human race can offer, while getting a good deal less than the support he needs and deserves from his superiors.

Another Perspective

Not a Perfect Ending But a Better Ending

By 4.15.15

My friend Julia died as we knew she would. Cancer had ravaged her body for a decade. She no longer could breathe. She was at home, under hospice care, when she asked for a dose of morphine that she knew would kill her but also keep her final moments free of pain.

I mention Julia’s death because a blogger named Jazz Shaw took issue with my Sunday column, “Assisted Suicide — It’s Civil Rights for the Affluent.” Doctors have been killing people with morphine overdoses for the past century or so, he wrote. And: “Forcing someone to suffer to the last bitter moment because you want to save them from burning in hell is not dignity.”

I don’t know any credible opponent of assisted suicide who opposes doctors administering needed pain control, including lethal doses if necessary. That’s how medicine is supposed to work. Doctors alleviate pain. They prescribe not with the intent to kill but to stop suffering. If a patient dies from needed pain control, so be it. That’s how a compassionate health care system should work.

Special Report

Obama’s Liberationist Military

By 4.15.15

The military under Barack Obama has increasingly embraced the philosophy of the sexual revolution. At the same time, it reels from the consequences of that revolution. Headlines in recent months suggest that moral discipline within the ranks continues to deteriorate. Lawmakers decry reports showing a “50% increase in reports of military sexual assaults.”

One would think a military with such problems might want to retain its Christian chaplains, not drive them away. Yet that is the effect of its decision to prioritize political correctness. Obama’s surrogates in the military have made it clear to Christian chaplains that they should stay silent or leave.

The Trumped-Up Charges Spectator

Civil Asset Forfeiture Case Has a Happy Ending

By 4.15.15

Legal battles against the government don’t often have a happy ending — but we’re so glad that in Carole Hinders’ case, it did!

In 2013, IRS agents showed up at Carole’s door and told her they had seized all the money in the bank account for her business, Mrs. Lady’s Mexican Food. But they didn’t charge her with a crime. The only reason her money was seized was the fact that Carole made frequent cash deposits under $10,000. Even that is not illegal — it just looks suspiciously like a “structuring” method used by real criminals to hide illegally gotten gains.

The problem is, the IRS didn’t stop to investigate why Carole made deposits the way she did. She became “guilty until proven innocent.”

The Current Crisis

Helping Barack Remember History

By 4.15.15

Does anyone remember what it was that turned America hostile toward the tropical paradise of Cuba? Our President tells us that “we’re caught in a time warp, going back to the 1950s and gunboat diplomacy, and ‘Yanquis’ and the Cold War.” Yes, really, “gunboat diplomacy.” That is how University of Chicago adjunct law professors talk about American foreign policy.  And he adds, “Sometimes those controversies date back to before I was born.”  So, what got America so riled up over the Castro brothers and Cuban communists even before Barack Obama was born?

Constitutional Opinions

An Issue of Supreme Importance for 2016

By 4.15.15

The time has come for politicians to announce their candidacy for president. In the following weeks we can expect more names to be tossed into the hat of presidential hopefuls. Already Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Rand Paul have proclaimed their desire to lead our country. Hillary Clinton made her candidacy official Sunday, and Senator Marco Rubio announced on Monday night.

The 2016 election is shaping up to be the most pivotal in decades, including for reasons not everyone is talking about.

It’s true that Republicans will challenge Obama’s legacy and that everything from Obamacare to payday loans will receive renewed and energetic scrutiny on the campaign trail.

Yet these won’t be the most pressing domestic issues facing the next president. Even more important will be is the president’s judicial philosophy. That’s because the probability is high that the nation’s next chief executive administration will nominate at least three candidates to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Campaign Crawlers

Rubio Tuesday

By 4.14.15

This has been quite a week for equaling major historical achievements. Jordan Spieth tied Tiger Woods’ mark for the best score at the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. And a day later Mrs. Marco Rubio announced she will try to tie George W. Bush’s record at the White House in Washington, D.C. Mister Bush, you will recall, is the only cheerleader to ever take up residence in the White House. Jeannette Rubio is hoping to match him in that distinction.

Of course, old George cheered for the Yale baseball team, which is designed for playing but never actually winning. Jeannette plied her craft, or art, for the Miami Dolphins football team, which wins now and then. In fact, the Dolphins are the only team ever to have a perfect season, back in 1972, which might bode well for Jeannette’s quest, although the Nixon campaign also was undefeated that year and that did not work out very well over time.


Sundays With Dickerson

By 4.14.15

The announcement was made over the weekend that CBS News would be replacing the 78-year old Bob Schieffer as the host of its Face The Nation Sunday show with a representative of a new generation of biased leftwing Beltway insiders.

John Dickerson, son of the former CBS reporter and D.C. socialite Nancy Dickerson, has served as CBS’s political director as well as chief political correspondent at the online left-wing rag Slate for the last several years. Prior to those jobs Dickerson was a reporter at the left-wing print rag Time magazine. He now takes over for Schieffer, who made a reputation as one of the more partisan Democrats in television news.

Nothing — nothing — will change with Dickerson taking over for Schieffer.

What are we getting from the network that gave us Dan Rather’s defamations of George W. Bush’s Texas Air National Guard record, Walter Cronkite’s North Vietnamese propaganda, Daniel Schorr’s smearing of Barry Goldwater as a Nazi wannabe, and the serial spiking of Sharryl Attkisson’s investigative reporting of the Obama scandals?

Enemy of the Day

Hillary’s Seinfeld Moment

By 4.14.15

What does it mean to be “Ready for Hillary”?

Prior to the release of Hillary Clinton's announcement video, “Getting Started,” that answer has largely been a vague feeling that Hillary would make a great president because shes a woman who has held three important job titles and she has traveled a lot. It turns out it means even less than that.

What case does “Getting Started” make for Hillary 2016? We can start with legendary tomatoes, a phrase which no doubt raised interest for the former President Bill Clinton, until he found out the video would about actual tomatoes and they would be “legendary” only in the growers neighborhood. Which is basically like saying, “Hey, this lady grows a lot of tomatoes!”