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Enemy of the Week

Stupid Stuff

By 8.15.14

Okay, we’re not normally this nervous, but it’s not every week that we have a big date in the offing. Our leader has announced he plans to return to Washington, D.C. on Sunday for reasons yet to be divulged. Maybe he needs help for his addiction to golf. Maybe he needs to get away from all those rich folks of Martha’s Vineyard. Maybe he just needs to escape from Madam Hillary’s manic clutches. Or maybe, just perhaps, he wants to ask us for advice. Don’t know how we might help. He’s been exactly the man we knew he’d be from the moment he first set eyes on a teleprompter. Who are we to expect someone not to be true to himself?

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A Further Perspective

The ‘Other’ D-Day — Operation Dragoon

By 8.15.14

August 15 marks the 70th anniversary of the Allies’ amphibious invasion of Marseilles and southern France in 1944. Though it stands as a historical footnote to the acclaimed D-Day invasion of Normandy, it played a vital role in the liberation of France and the ultimate defeat of German forces. The operation, codenamed Dragoon, got off to a dreadful start with the suicide of one of the key Allied leaders shortly before the invasion launched.

Rear Admiral Don Moon, who had commanded the naval forces at Utah Beach in the Normandy invasion, and was tasked with commanding the right wing of the Dragoon landings, had begged Vice Admiral H. Kent Hewitt, overall commander of the invasion, to postpone the attack, arguing that assault training had been deficient, and that German forces would decimate the invading Allied forces. (He had expressed similar apprehensions before D-Day.) He died in his stateroom just days before the attack from a self-inflicted wound to the head from his service .45. A carefully penned suicide note lay on the table in front of his dead body.

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The Nation's Pulse

Drugs Are Bad, Mkay?

By 8.15.14

“Drugs are bad, mkay?” explains South Park’s Mr. Mackey. Like Nancy Reagan, Joe Friday, and other tellers of this simple truth, Mr. Mackey plays the punchline. But a teller of simple truths isn’t a simpleton but rather someone blessed with the ability to cut through sophistry.

When I was very young, a man in a dress asked me if I rejected the glamour of evil. I remained circumspectly silent. Two adult relatives, assuming my virtue from my visage, answered “yes” for me.

Drugs strike as the epitome of this peculiar phrase uttered by that peculiarly draped man. The chemicals prove so seductive that they make the hideous attractive. Snorting lines probably seemed glamourous to Robin Williams in his twenties. But what’s less glamourous than a sixtysomething-year-old man hanging from his own belt?

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Special Report

When Bogie and Bacall Were Duped by Hollywood Communists

By 8.15.14

Lauren Bacall died this week at age 89. Her obituaries are paying tribute to a glamorous actress, a famed star from Hollywood’s Golden Age, the wife of Humphrey Bogart, and a lifetime liberal. She’s also being celebrated by liberals as a fighter for freedom in the arts, one who bravely confronted the closed-minded anti-communists in Washington—a stoic battler against Joe McCarthy and his “witch hunts.”

Sorry, but reality is more complicated.

The facts are that Lauren Bacall herself learned the truth about communism in Hollywood. She admitted to being badly duped by bad guys. She learned her lesson, even as her fellow Hollywood liberals to this day have not, opting instead for a false narrative that feeds a handy caricature. Here’s what really happened:

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Reader Mail

Pro-Semitism Is Flourishing

By 8.14.14

Ben Stein has shared this letter he received from a dear friend in Missouri:

Dear Ben,

I read of your most justifiable concerns about growing anti-Semitism, so I thought I’d warm your heart with some reports of pro-Semitism. Forgive me if this is sort of long, but pretend it’s an article in the Spectator.

Since 1997, John and I have been serving with a ministry called Prayer Mountain in the Ozarks, aka Billye Brim Ministries, an extremely pro-Israel organization. Billye Brim has been leading tours to Israel for decades. Because of her well-known pro-Israel activism, in the late 1990s she was approached by Rani Levy, the son of Col. Yehuda Levy, who had been the president, publisher, and editor of the Jerusalem Post, as you probably know. Rani brought Billye information on a rare piece of property for sale in Israel, in Migdol on the Sea of Galilee. Rani said he thought the ministry was supposed to have it. Billye agreed, the property was purchased, and there are plans to build a study center there, called Prayer Mountain in the Galilee. Here are three related pro-Semitic items:

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The Iraq Spectator

The Collapse of the Liberal World Order

By 8.14.14

President Obama has ended the Iraq War.” So says the White House blog, the headline preserved in the amber that is the Internet. The date: October 21, 2011 at 2:18 Eastern Daylight Time. Along with a video of the president saying this, a statement on the site has been helpfully provided, partially excerpted here:

In 2008, in the height of the presidential campaign, then-Senator Obama made a promise to give our military a new mission: ending the war in Iraq.

As the election unfolded, he reiterated this pledge again and again — but cautioned that we would be “as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in.”…

Now, that promise will be wholly fulfilled. Today, President Obama announced that the rest of our troops will be home by the holidays.…

But this moment represents more than an accomplishment for the President. It marks a monumental change of focus for our military and a fundamental shift in the way that the our nation will engage in the world….

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Special Report

Ferguson on Fire

By 8.14.14

As the suicide of Robin Williams — one of the few self-inflicted deaths of a public figure which truly saddened me; the man made me laugh since my teenage years — grabs the headlines, Ferguson, Missouri is literally and figuratively on fire.

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Eminentoes

Bradley Manning Is Not a Victim of Cruel and Unusual Punishment

By 8.14.14

Is Bradley Manning suffering from vaginal dryness? Is his hair thinning out? Are his breasts getting smaller while his tummy swells like a gourd? How regular are his periods? What about his personality: is he behaving shrewishly toward his jailers at Fort Leavenworth, haranguing them about the toilet seat? The world wants to know. Or at least I do.

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Boob Tube

‘The Knick’ is Beautiful, Gory, and Not Very Good

By 8.13.14

Is there anything better than watching television about the past, when people were wrong about everything? The past, with its glamorous clothes, copious smoking, and easily judged mistakes? If you said, “Nothing, except perhaps television set in the past full of gory surgery scenes,” well, you’re in luck. Cinemax’s new show, The Knick (directed by Steven Soderbergh), serves up present day feel-goodness and old time gore in equal measure.

The Knick opens with our hero, Dr. John W. Thackery (Clive Owen) being awoken by a naked woman in a brothel. From the brothel, he hails a carriage to the hospital. On the way, he injects some cocaine into his foot. All in the day of the life, one supposes, of a TV anti-hero.

In any case, Thackery rolls into Knickerbocker Hospital, ready to operate on a pregnant woman . The surgery is risky, and the woman bleeds to death on the table in a genuinely horrifying sequence: her blood, which is being vacuumed by an assisting doctor into jars, goes from steadily filling one to filling many.

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Flick Story

Watch ‘The Giver’ to Remind Yourself Why We’re Fighting

By 8.13.14

What do progressives want? If you want to know, to really see, then pack up the wife and kids and head to your local movie theater on August 15.

Based on the Lois Lowry novel, a new movie called The Giver is going to change the way people think about the nanny state. The movie is not some sort of right-wing propaganda film. In fact, it has such Hollywood heft as Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Katie Holmes, Brenton Thwaites, and — a casting decision that will please my 15 year daughter Lucy — Taylor Swift. The novel’s author is, in fact, an Obama supporter.

So why do I say all conservatives should see it? Because it shows us what’s at stake.

The movie includes a totalitarian government like we’ve seen in The Hunger Games and Divergent, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these themes keep popping up under and administration that regularly erodes our liberties and targets its perceived enemies.

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