America’s Reality Versus Hollywood’s Fantasy

AmericanSniperby Jerry Richardson1/20/15
The majority of the American people clearly recognize that America and the civilized world has a barbaric enemy (Islamic Jihadists) who are intent upon subjugating us or cutting all of our heads off.

Many affiliates of Hollywood wish to fantasize this danger away.

Hollywood has been in the fantasy business for so long that many of its participants seem to actually believe that what they choose to put on the silver-screen and on our TV is reality.  In other words, Hollywood has bought into its own progressive-lie that all reality is constructed-reality—just fabricated narrative.

Wrong!  In the current buzz-phrase:  Reality is what it is.

What is my evidence that the American people recognize what Hollywood does not want to accept?

Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper ignited the holiday weekend box office, leaving January records behind as it made a stunning $90.2 million in three days.

The total easily topped the previous January high, James Cameron’s Avatar at $68 million in 2010. Warner Bros. estimates that American Sniper will make $105 million over the four-day Martin Luther King weekend, which would be another record.

“This is staggering. It’s blockbuster numbers in January, the sort of numbers usually reserved for summer films and superhero movies,” says Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst for Rentrak. “No one saw this coming. The film has been building an audience and blasting any projections all weekend.”
American Sniper

So, “No one saw this coming”?  Who is “no one”?

“No one” of course is the Hollywood illuminati, the elite, those media-savvy, self-appraised best-of-the-best.  A smug, never-identified, sub-set of progressive film-makers and anti-American actors who have decided that they, and they alone, know what actually is reality; and their mission is to insure that Americans know about true-reality even if they, the few, the smug, the all-knowing guardians of reality have to proclaim the correct-world to ignorant Americans. And if the majority of Americans don’t buy into their proclamations of reality, what then?  They blast the “bitter clingers” with hate:

Every Seat, Every Show, Every Theater: SOLD OUT – American Sniper – Record Breaking Box Office Smash Hit
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Leftist movie types like Michael Moore, and those of similar disposition who hate America, are having meltdowns at the success of American Sniper. They are so wound up with hate, they just don’t know what to do.
Sniper, Smash Hit

Over the weekend, multiple Academy members told TheWrap that they had been passing around a recent article by Dennis Jett in The New Republic that attacks the film for making a hero out of Kyle, who said: “The enemy are savages and despicably evil,” and his “only regret is that I didn’t kill more.” Kyle made the statements in his best-selling book, “American Sniper,” on which the film is based.
Some of The Academy Complains

The “Academy” is of course the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  This is the group who awards Oscars each year.  This is the group (estimated 6000+) of never-clearly-identified people who decide, via balloting, each year which movies, actors, directors, etc. are the best. Of course the Academy’s voting-decision process is about as transparent as the Obama Administration’s handling of Benghazi or the IRS scandal; all the public ever gets are the final decisions, but no explanation of details.

This self-appointed censorship group (an unidentified disgruntled sub-group of the 6000+ Academy voting membership) desperately hates the fact that a pro-war movie can succeed in America while anti-war movies are notorious failures; however, what they really, really hate, in the case of American Sniper, is the honest evaluation of the savage brutes, the Islamic Jihadists, who are realistically described by the real life hero, Chris Kyle.  Of course the America-hating collection of Hollywood-types prefers a make-believe, phoney-hero such as Liam Neeson in Taken 3 who in real-life conforms to their leftwing ideology.

Kyle stated in his best-selling book: “The enemy are savages and despicably evil,” and his “only regret is that I didn’t kill more.”

This sort of real-world truth drives the left more insane than they already are.

Like Obama they want to hug all the despicably evil savages who are trying to destroy us; and find a non-personal, antiseptic-way (e.g., via remote-controlled drones) to kill a few of the enemy just for political-show; but never, ever, will they support the sentiment that a properly-directed US military should logically operate under a mission of “seek and destroy our enemies”; and that mission shouldn’t be terminated until our enemies are no longer a threat—either they surrender or they die, their choice.

You won’t find the above sentiment in the modern Progressive/Democrat party. Progressivism corrupts every concept including the concept of war. That is why it is unwise and extremely-dangerous to have the Democrat-party in power during a war—yeah…by way of comparison it’s just unwise and normally-dangerous to have the Democrat-party in power during peace time.  In case you have forgotten, America has been in a continuous war with Islamic Jihadists since September 11, 2001; regardless of Obama’s nonsensical denials.

Who will we, as a nation, turn-to for national-defense if and when we completely destroy the fighting motivation of all of our potential Chris Kyles by not vigorously-countering  contemptuous, cowardly criticism from America-haters such as Michael Moore—criticism that is published, promoted, and amplified by the ever-unfaithful, denigrate-America-and-its-military media.

I am grateful for men such as Chris Kyle.

I’ll trade you all of the millions of pusillanimous, do-nothing-but-march Je suis Charlie’s for one genuine Chris Kyle—“only regret is that I didn’t kill more.”

© 2015, Jerry Richardson • (5917 views)

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108 Responses to America’s Reality Versus Hollywood’s Fantasy

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I’m going to reserve some judgment on this, but report early.

    I’m going to take a somewhat dissenting opinion on this. Let me put this into context: There was a lot of conservative enthusiasm over the dubious hero film, Lone Survivor, and even some for the ridiculous film, Captain Phillips.

    I started reading Kyle’s biography just the other night. And I’m not sure if he’s a hero or an oddball. All I can say at the moment is that I’m glad he was on our side.

    I do think Americans are desperate for a hero. But let’s hold on there. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. As much as we might want to stress that conservatism is about reality, movies are almost never about reality, even when they are documentaries.

    And when thinking about this subject, I keep “Lone Survivor” in mind, a movie that seemed to tap into the need for Americans to have a hero — so much so that they looked past the fact that this movie was a portrayal of massive fuck-ups and stupid policies. Yes, in some respect, these soldiers losing their lives is worthy of notice. But I’m more in line with what General Patton said:

    Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.

    In “Lone Survivor,” we were left to praise the killing of our own soldiers.

    I have not seen “American Sniper” and I am just barely into the book, so I’ll reserve final judgment. But I’ve been reading many of the one-star reviews of Kyle’s biography. And many criticisms of it are criticized by others as “Just another liberal America-hater.” And yet many of the reviewers who are giving the book one-star reviews have noted that they think he’s a patriot. They just think the book itself is a bit sophomoric and not very interesting by the standards of much better military books (which they invariably mention). Still others (and what I’ve read so far does not contradict this assessment) see Kyle as sort of a maniac.

    And in some respects, you’d have to be a maniac to make it through the truly severe training in order to become a SEAL. Even so, I was disturbed a bit by this passage from the book. I expect that when a young man is going to be wed, his buddies might buy him a stripper. If they are military buddies, maybe two three strippers and a goat thrown in. But what occurs (as written by Kyle) is bizarre, even by macho standards:

    We got back that night to our temporary base and went inside to the mission-planning room. The chief told everybody that we’d relax and have a few beers while we mapped out the next day’s operation. Then he turned to me.

    “Hey, new guy,” he told me. “Go grab the beer and the booze out of the van and bring it in here.”

    I hopped to.

    When I came back in, everyone was sitting in chairs. There was only one left, and it was kind of in the middle of a circle of the others. I didn’t think too much about it as I sat down.

    “All right, this is what we’re going to do,” my chief said, standing in front of dry-eraseboard at the front of the room. “The operation will be an ambush. The target will be in the center. We will completely encircle it.”

    That doesn’t sound too smart, I thought. If we come in from every direction, we’ll be shooting each other. Usually our ambushes are planned in an L-shape to avoid that.

    I looked at the chief. The chief looked at me. Suddenly, his serious expression gave way to a shit-ass grin.

    With that, the rest of the platoon bum-rushed me.

    I hit the floor a second later. They cuffed me to a chair, and then began my kangaroo court.

    There were a lot of charges against me. The first was the fact that I had let it be known that I wanted to become a sniper.

    “This new guy is ungrateful!” thundered the prosecutor. “He does not want to do his job. He thinks he is better than the rest of us.”

    I tried to protest, but the judge—none other than the chief himself—quickly ruled me out of order. I turned to my defense attorney.

    “What do you expect?” he said. “He’s only got a third-grade edu-Kay-shun.”

    “Guilty!” declared the judge. “Next charge!”

    “Your Honor, the defendant is disrespectful,” said the prosecutor. “He told the CO to fuck off.”

    “Objection!” said my lawyer. “He told the OIC to fuck off.”

    The CO is the commanding officer of the Team; the OIC is the officer in charge of the platoon. A pretty big difference, except in this case.

    “Guilty! Next charge. For every offense I was found guilty of—which meant anything and everything they could make up—I had to take a drink of Jack Daniels and Coke, followed by a shooter of Jack.

    They got me pretty wasted before we even got to the felonies. At some point, they stripped me down and put ice down my drawers. Finally I passed out.

    Then they spray-painted me, and for good measure, drew Playboy bunnies on my chest and back with a marker. Just the sort of body art you want for your honeymoon.

    At some point, my friends apparently became concerned about my health. So they taped me to a spine board completely naked, took me outside, and stood me up in the snow. They left me for a while until I regained some amount of consciousness. By then I was jackhammering hard enough to put a hole through a bunker roof. They gave me an IV—the saline helps cut down the alcohol in your system—and finally took me back to the hotel, still taped to the spine board.

    All I remember from the rest of the night is being lifted up a bunch of stairs, apparently to my motel room. There must have been a few spectators, because the boys were yelling, “Nothing to see here, nothing to see!” as they carried me in.

    Taya washed off most of the paint and the bunnies when I met up with her the next day. But a few were still visible under my shirt. I kept my jacket tightly buttoned for the ceremony.

    I’m all for finding heros. But I think we ought to be careful that we don’t rush in where angels fear to tread, and that we keep in mind that getting our hero-jollies via movies isn’t necessarily a particularly good comment on America and Americans. What is real and what is just entertainment becomes a blur, and I’m not talking about the content of the movie. I’m talking about the mindset of the movie-goer.

    And let’s remember that after all our efforts are done, and our snipers come home, the war against “terror” will likely be as long-term feeble as a candlelight vigil holding pens over one’s head because of the Charlie Hebdo murders. Is the message in all this that as long as it stokes our emotional satisfaction in the movies then all is well?

    Yes, of course, the Left generally hates macho heroes and anyone who defends a solid sense of right and wrong. But one doesn’t have to be on the Left to recognize that snipers, although the fulfill a vital function, are a different breed, and that Kyle may have taken that breed to a level that even many military men are uncomfortable with. He may have been a bit of a maniac. But at least he had his gun pointed at the right people.

    • GHG says:

      My comment (below) was on the reaction to the film, both the throngs heading to movie theaters to see the film and the leftist reaction to the huge crowds.

      Whether Kyle was a true American hero or not is beside the point in this context because the impression the movie going public has is that he was an American hero who killed a lot of bad guys and I believe that’s why they’re going to see the movie. OORAH!

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Oh, one of my favorite characters is Dirty Harry. It was the perfect character in the perfect time. In the 70’s the vibe was turning then heavily toward favoring the perpetrators at the expense of the victims (and obviously still is to a great degree). Dirty Harry was having none of it.

        And yet he was not a vigilante. One of the movies in the series actually has him coming up against a group of vigilante cops. But he was not a pussy politically correct bureaucrat as so many of them are now. He knew who the bad guys were and put his life on the line to protect the innocent. That’s what heroes do.

        I have no doubt that the American public is probably tired of having these slimy and deceitful Muslims as fronted by the likes of CAIR being portrayed as victims instead of being part of the Nazi-like movement that they are. I doubt most of them think of it as explicitly as I do. But I think there’s a rolling boil of discontent with the traitorous Obama types, although I do believe they will keep electing these types to office, thus I’m dubious about movies becoming some sort of gauge of the American mind and character. I think a legitimate way to evaluate all this is that, much like the French, we’re more than fine with mere displays of protest, whether via holding up a pen in a crowd or going ot a movie in a crowd.

        Yeah, Clint killed the bad guys. But look who actually won and is winning.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          The particular movie you’re referring to, for anyone who might be interested, is Magnum Force. I remember once when we watched and tried to keep a body count (it was over 30, almost all by the villains on both sides). Most likely the Dirty Harry movies are why I became a big Clint Eastwood fan, though The Outlaw Josey Wales was another excellent reason.

    • ronlsb says:

      Brad, I’ll try to cut you some slack for the simple reason that I would bet dollars to a dime that you were never in the military or combat. Though I am by no means in a class as the Seals, I was a fighter pilot for twenty years and flew 213 combat missions in Viet Nam. What to your eyes seems somewhat insane as far as Kyle’s and the Seal’s behavior, is not that strange to anyone involved in the military in a combat role. And I do stress “combat” role. It is well to understand that for every soldier who actually does the mission (kill the enemy and daily risk being killed), there are ten or more support troops who would find Kyle’s and his buddies behavior just as bizarre as you do. That’s no knock on them, it’s just the way it is. I wouldn’t want to even begin to detail some of the goofy things fighter pilots did in the Air Force that I suspect you would find just as oddball as you do the Seals. And yes, there are gigantic screw ups in combat (aka, Lone Survivor), but that’s the nature of war. Until you’ve been there, you simply can’t imagine how such things can happen. But it is the nature of war itself that things, no matter how well planned, often don’t go as planned. You are a very bright guy and I enjoy your articles, but in this case I suggest rather than psychoanalyzing such behavior, you instead simply give thanks that America produces such men to defend our freedoms.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I never served in the military, but I was raised as an army brat (my father graduated from the Point in 1945, and quite possibly the atomic bombs saved his life) and developed a strong interest in military history. So I have a fair notion of what you mean. One great-uncle told me that he could never watch a war movie without bringing back nightmares from World War II (where he served in the Pacific). Oddly, it didn’t keep him from going back in after the war (and marrying my great-aunt Lucille, whose grave lists her as a veteran of 3 wars).

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I’m glad to have some slack cut, Ron. Let’s just put it this way: For my bachelor party, do not shove ice down my pants, do not strip me naked, tie me to a pole, and force so much alcohol down my throat that you need to give me an saline IV just to make sure you didn’t go too far.

        Regarding gigantic screw-ups, yes, of course they happen. But my beef with “Loan Survivor” is that it is being praised as a patriotic movie when it is really a sad commentary on the state of our war-making ability and attitude. Individual soldiers may be cogs in the machine, but the overall machine seems to be somewhat broken.

        Yes, I’m a bright guy…bright enough to understand that wars are messy. I don’t do a lot of back-seat driving regarding the details. But I think our overall approach to Islam is deeply flawed. And I think it is somewhat of a mistake by conservatives to get rope-a-doped into having all kinds of warm-fuzzies for movies when the reality out there is likely much different. I just wouldn’t read to much into Eastwood’s movie or anyone else’s. There isn’t much glory to be had if we are merely winning the war in the cinema.

        As for blowing the heads off of Islamists, I’m not particularly squeamish about that. And I’m far harder-line on these things that you might suppose. I would have a standing sort of “Dr. Strangelove”-esque order to let it be known that if a major terrorist act occurs again against Americans, we will give Mecca 72 hours notice before we begin to bomb it.

        This is how you deal with Islam and Islamist, not by letting prisoners go so that they can then rat you out, as happened in “Lone Survivor.” I understand they were likely following the rules of engagement. And that is my point. Let’s not forget, despite individual acts of courage, that the overall plan seems pretty messed up.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          I don’t know why you’d give Mecca warning. For that matter, my first target would probably be a more explicitly jihadist city, such as Gaza or Raqqa (the ISIS capital). And I would teach a new generation the meaning of “Carthaginian peace”. Jihadism delenda est, anyone?

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I’m a squishy humanitarian at heart, Timothy. But the point of bombing Mecca would be to take the fight to them and hit their most cherished objects. There is no reason to play with one hand tied behind our back out of misplaced ideas of what we wish Islam was. If you can bomb a movement’s capital, you do so. That’s just how it works.

            With this crazy, apocalyptic blood cult known as “Islam,” such a standing order might actually hasten the next major attack. But it’s time we stop acting as if they’re victims. This is a war of civilization against the barbarians. And the sooner we wake up to this fact, the better.

            Unfortunately, most Westerners have been thoroughly propagandized against their own cultures and view foreign cultures as victims, the West as oppressors. One wonders how many cities in Europe have to burn until they realize a new Nazism is in their midst. And this one they invited in from afar.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Mecca is more a symbolic capital, much like Kyoto in Japan (which wasn’t bombed in World War II, though it was the secondary target when Hiroshima was hit). Qom, on the other hand, is not only an emotional target for Shiah Muslims, but effectively a political capital for Iran. I definitely would keep it in mind.

        • Misanthropette says:

          “…let it be known that if a major terrorist act occurs again against Americans….”

          Brad, therein lies the problem and the difference between people who love this country and the weak-kneed, lily-livered, spineless desk jockeys who make policies that get our kids killed overseas. I am referring to those who are all too anxious to talk about America’s status in the world as a superpower, but who shy away from the elimination, the total destruction of those who attacked us the first time.

          If I were Empress of the Universe, there would be no “again”. I would not have made flowery speeches about Islam, the religion of peace, as both Bush and Obama have. I would have remained silent, not made pleas for “tolerance” as Bush-Obama did. I would have halted all immigration, asylum grants, etc…. I would certainly not have protected the Saudi royal family after 9/11 the way Bush did. Let them experience the consequences of their funding of terrorism in the name of their prophet of doom.

          And on the subject of “again”, can we have an honest discussion about muslim immigration? It is a given that any “again” will be launched by muslims who were granted status in the U.S. through visa waivers, or state-sanctioned permission to take up legal residence. We are a schizophrenic nation to allow millions of so-called refugees, “students” on visas, or others with known affiliations to the Muslim Brotherhood and other offshoots of the death cult known as Islam into this country while sending our children to die fighting these same people in their homelands.

          On the subject of films depicting war, let’s discuss the savagery of Black Hawk Down. The Somalis torched a pilot and what did we do? We imported these same people, and allowed them to populate rural Minnesota, Maine, and other dreary outposts. What kind of a country demonstrates such tacit approval for the deaths of those who protect us, or at least do our bidding? I believe America is insane.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            If I were Empress of the Universe, there would be no “again”. I would not have made flowery speeches about Islam, the religion of peace, as both Bush and Obama have. I would have remained silent, not made pleas for “tolerance” as Bush-Obama did. I would have halted all immigration, asylum grants, etc…. I would certainly not have protected the Saudi royal family after 9/11 the way Bush did. Let them experience the consequences of their funding of terrorism in the name of their prophet of doom.

            Ditto, Misanthropette. What can I say? I’ll put you on the bottom of the ticket at VP…unless you want the top job.

            I admit to being as ignorant as anyone about Islam prior to 911. But then I did some reading. A lot of reading. And it turned out that this kind of stuff was nothing new for Islam. They’ve been slaughtering and subjugating people wherever they go for centuries…since its very inception. And the only time you will find a “moderate” Islam is when they are such a tiny percentage of the population that they have to play nice.

            What I didn’t do after 911 was what idiots (and that is not an ad hom attack, but an accurate description) such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and the other paragons of hate did: blame all religion. It seems obvious to me that not all religions teach the same values, but it is not obvious to them. And it’s not obvious to most people today. Hell, good luck even getting the Pope to acknowledge the nature of Islam. He seems more concerned with global warming as a hazard to humankind.

            Islam is irredeemable because it is built on a foundation of Mohammed who was a violent and disgusting man. As I say to clarify matters, probably the truest expression of Christ in a man was St. Francis. The truest expression of Mohammed (at least recently) was Osama bin Laden. But our multiculti culture has turned this on its head. Now the religion of conquest and butchery is “the religion of peace” while Christians and Jews are marginalized.

            Regarding immigration, with any luck, the sad example of Europe as it unfolds will be a lesson to us in America.

            Ditto regarding “Black Hawk Down.” That’s very well said.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Yes, it’s past time to close down the importation of Muslims as much as we legally can. For example, no immigrants from Muslim states would be permitted except for non-Muslim refugees (and Muslim refugees who have been very carefully vetted, perhaps — especially if they’re too old to have children).

  2. GHG says:

    To the chagrin of the hoity toity, the hoi polloi still like true American heroes. One can only imagine the embarrassment this latest display of nativism will cause them when they attend the next who’s who event in Davos or Cannes. Why couldn’t they have been born on the continent, they whine, being an American is just too much to bear.

    Clint Eastwood is just too big for Hollywood to ignore, even after his masterful empty chair takedown of Obama at the GOP convention in 2012. He makes good films and good films make money and money still trumps leftist ideology. Bunch of hypocrites.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I love Clint Eastwood. But America went on to elect the man in the empty chair. My general opinion regarding all this is that it’s all too easy to take part in a culture that is little more than a media culture, where even the idea of heroes is no deeper than what is shown on the silver screen.

      This was always one of my cautionary warnings about StubbornThings, and something the Mr. Kung himself has stressed: Don’t mistake our words for actual effective action in the world.

      And so we should be careful not to mistake movies, or even the praise for one (perhaps) praise-worthy soldier for some kind up upwelling of healthy patriotism. Be sure to see, as I have so often noted, that we’ve become an entertainment culture. That the bread-and-circuses every once in a while features a Dirty Harry is probably better than the alternative. But it’s still a circus.

  3. Timothy Lane says:

    As I noted in response to an NRO article on the movie, Hollywood hates America and its defenders, whereas most Americans love America and its defenders. This explains such things as why Hollywood keeps making anti-American movies even though the rare pro-American ones are the ones that get great audiences.

    One article on the movie noted that Kyle was taught by his father that the world is divided into sheep, wolves, and sheep-dogs (protecting the sheep from the wolves). This is very similar to a point I made reviewing Confirmed Kill by Michael Z. Williamson (a novel about a sniper team, ironically): There are tigers and lambs, but there are also tiger-hunters. Sometimes the hunters err or even go rogue, and we must right any such wrongs we can, but the fact remains that we need the tiger-hunters to protect us from the tigers.

    Liberals, of course, affect to oppose the tigers, and perhaps they do — but they hate the tiger-hunters even more.

  4. GHG says:

    Putting aside the (very real) possibility that many of the record breaking crowd who have gone to see American Sniper did so as much or more to see the gratuitous visual images of violence the movie was sure to provide than for patriotic impulse. But, I’d wager a good portion of the crowd felt a sense of patriotism even though that may not have been their motivation for seeing the film.

    But you’re correct – having a sense of patriotism doesn’t amount to a hill of beans unless it spurs pro-American action, if nothing else but at the voting booth.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I thought Eastwood did a superb job directing/producing “Letters from Iwo Jima.” It’s amazing to see some of these actors become very accomplished directors, including people such as Ron Howard. I think acting is relatively easy if you’re born with the right look. But I can’t think of anything more complicated than directing/producing a major motion picture. It would seem to have all the hallmarks of the complexity Eisenhower faced in planning and carrying out Operation Overlord.

      I’ll probably eventually watch “American Sniper” as well, if only because there is a lot of positive buzz about it and I do like Eastwood.

  5. Jerry Richardson says:

    GHG,

    Your comments are right in line with what I am addressing: The reaction of the America public to the movie. I am not attempting a movie or a book review.

    I have not seen the movie and am not suggesting my article as some sort of substitute for a review. An objective review of a movie and the public’s reaction to the movie are two separate things. At my age, and the way I don’t get around to going to movies, I probably won’t see it until it’s available for streaming. Meantime, I gladly leave the review of the movie to Brad.

    As I said, I am grateful for men like Chris Kyle; and while it is somewhat unlikely that he could ever match movie-portrayed hero-status, that is not my concern here. I did not imagine I might be seeing the classical John Wayne style hero. I was attracted to the soldier simply because he is a special-class of unconventional-warrior who seems to make no apology for doing what he was assigned, and agreed, to do: Kill our enemies. Whatever personal emotion (repulsion or attraction) we may feel for that; I believe that we need that sort of exemplified deadly-focus in combat to defend our nation against the likes of Islamic Jihad.

    Apparently—hype or no hype—Chris Kyle was rather good at his assignment. In my mind, he represents a human-weapon against our enemies that I think deserves at least the encouragement of recognition that he defended our nation.

    To quote Brad: “I’m glad he was on our side.”

  6. Jerry Richardson says:

    Here’s a video report from a former SEAL friend of Chris Kyle who saw the movie, American Sniper.

    Navy SEAL’s fantastic response to Michael Moore caught everyone off guard at CNN

    I love this. Cade Courtley was not only friends with Chris Kyle, but also a Navy SEAL and sniper himself and he weighs in on the film after having seen it a few days ago.

    When asked about Michael Moore’s comments, he said he really didn’t want to give the guy anymore airtime but his response caught the whole crew at CNN off guard as they laughed out loud on-air before they could continue:

    “His career is a really good confirmed kill.”
    BOOM! **Goes the sniper rifle**
    That was awesome. I like this dude.

    Navy SEAL’s response to Michael Moore

  7. Jerry Richardson says:

    Comments on Michael Moore and the movie American Sniper from a Congressional Medal of Honor winner, Dakota Meyer:

    ‘Don’t embrace or support his ignorance’ – Medal of Honor recipient and sniper responds to Michael Moore

    I served as a Marine sniper for three years, and I believe the film American Sniper depicted what we do perfectly. A sniper’s primary goal is to eliminate ground threats for U.S. guys on the ground. Is that what a coward is? A person whose goal is to save the lives of his warrior brothers?

    No, cowards are people who didn’t have the guts to serve, and are happy to sit back in a free and protected country and call our service members cowards. I find it funny that this Moore guy would only say this after Chris Kyle was killed. I’d have loved to see him say that to Chris’s face.

    Look, I’ve never seen a Michael Moore movie and sure don’t plan to. I’d call on everyone to boycott this idiot’s films. Don’t embrace or support his ignorance.

    What would I do if I owned a Michael Moore DVD? I’d set it up out back and set my cowardly sniper skill on it.

    Medal of Honor winner, Dakota Meyer responds to Michael Moore

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I’ve never seen a Michael Moore movie (or even considered doing so), though I have seen a few refutations of his agit/prop. We did get a book or two of his from the Quality Paperback Book Club many years ago because we forgot to get the “don’t send” message to them in time, but neither of us ever read anything by him. Nor do I ever plan to start doing so.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Coward is a word that is thrown around to wound people. I don’t, for instance, consider the Muslim Jihadist murderers of 911 to be cowards. They’re evil, yes. But it takes a certain amount of balls to Doctor-Strangelove a 747 into certain death. Not all acts of bravery are commendable.

      I don’t have a beef with killing Jihadists by the bushel. The more the merrier. In a perfect world, you would take these lives with some amount of reluctance. But I think the reality is that there are people who get used to it, and probably quickly. They may even enjoy it.

      But I do have a problem within the entire scope of this “war on terror” venture. I still don’t think we’ve adequately come to grips with what we are fighting. Pretending there is some Muslim country that represents the kind of ally we can rely on (and a model for what Islam would be if not for those pesky Islamists) is a fool’s errand. As we’ve seen with Pakistan, our “allies” are often our worst and most duplicitous enemies.

      Bringing Michael Moore into a discussion like this is somewhat pointless, because he’s truly a loon. But, sad to say, maybe his point of view is not so pointless because it represents, more or less, the view of the current president and quite a few in Congress and other positions of power. We are surrounded by loons.

      And the loonocracy cuts deep. The American military, to the best of my understanding, is now filled with politically correct generals and majors and admirals and captains. In some respects, Kyle is a reality check because war, as Rush Limbaugh notes, is about killing people and breaking things. We should not dump on Kyle because he threatens to expose this harsh reality, and I do not and would not. But we’ve for far too long seen this “war on terror” as some kind of “meals on wheels” turning the military into a social service (socialist service). The rules of engagement are a joke, for instance.

      It’s such a clusterfuck of delusion, misinformation, propaganda, and unrealistic goals that the exploits of Chris Kyle are somewhat irrelevant. Yes, these snipers form a vital function in combat. But more important to ask is what is the point of the combat? What is the goal? When you see the political (and other) fools trying to turn Afghanistan or Iraq into a modern state because many think “democracy” is no more than voting, there is reason to believe that this will be all for naught.

      Islam(ism) must be defeated. As Rush notes about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the only solution to this is when one side or the other wins. Acts of heroism are all well and good. But unless that heroism is unleashed in some worthy and reachable goal, it sadly becomes almost beside the fact — grist for a movie, at best. And then where are we?

      • Timothy Lane says:

        No, unfortunately, though some of us may be surrounded by loons, we aren’t run by loons. “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War upon them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” That second option certainly sounds like the Obamacrats to me.

  8. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    As I recall, it was two “cowardly” snipers in Mogadishu who insisted they be dropped near a downed helicopter in order to help the crew from being overrun and killed. They did this knowing that the chances of their dying were very high. In fact, they did die and I think they were they were the first to receive Medal of Honors since Vietnam.

  9. GHG says:

    Normally I don’t condone ad hominem attacks – “the last refuge of a loser” and all that. But Michael Moore is so despicable that he makes it almost impossible to avoid personal attack. The nicest thing I can think to say about him is his exterior.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      In terms of logic, an ad hominem attack is an attack on someone’s ethics as a refutation of his argument, and as such is a logical fallacy. However, for certain other purposes (such as, say, choosing which candidate to support) ad hominem attacks (if honest) serve a very useful purpose. In addition, truthful attacks on someone’s honesty, while not refuting his arguments, do provide grounds for skepticism (particularly about any factual claims).

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Mr. Lesser, I’m concurring with Mr. Lane…and then some. Regarding ad hominem attacks (perhaps I am just rationalizing my own vice), accusations of such have become such standard practice in internet discussion that they are as meaningless as that old standby, the belief that as soon as the word “Nazi” enters the discussion that people somehow then magically lose all ability to reason. I’ve actually had that used on me and I laughed quite a bit about that and yukked it up.

      Granted, calling Obama a low-life, no-good, two-timing scoundrel is not going to win any debating points. And for a large percentage of the population out there, to talk in more salty terms is to lose your audience.

      That’s one reason it is imperative to mix a little humor into it if you’re going to throw the insults around. Then you might just get away with it.

      But “ad hominem” has devolved into little more than a debating tactic by the stupid and disingenuous. I’m I involved in an “ad hominem” if I call Obama an America-hating Marxist? I think it’s the truth. And I’m not one for walling off large sections of the truth just because it offends those who have been terminally bamboozled by someone’s propaganda.

      Is Hillary Clinton a bitch? By all accounts that I’ve read, that’s a mild way to describe her. Years ago I read in Gary Aldrich’s “Unlimited Access” about an incident that apparently occurred just before Bill’s inauguration. Bill and Hillary slipped behind a door on their way to the inauguration and there was such an argument that the Secret Service men looked at each other, seriously wondering if they needed to intervene.

      The Clintons are scum bags. Is that ad hominem? No. They trashed and looted the White House after leaving it, all while claiming that many of the women (such as Paula Jones) that Clinton boinked were “trailer trash.” But the Clintons are the real trailer trash. And that’s not based on political differences but the fact that these are two people of very low character.

      So ad-hom away as far as I’m concerned. Just make sure the ad-hom is mostly accurate. Yes, sometimes the truth hurts, but so what?

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Many of the people who denounce any reference to the Nazis or Hitler know almost nothing about Nazi Germany. For example, many would no doubt denounce my use of “health Nazis” to describe certain zealots. Those who are genuinely honest might behave differently if they were more familiar with actual Nazis practice (for example, in The Nazi War Against Cancer by Robert Proctor one discovers that the Nazis handled the matter of cigarette smoking in a very familiar way).

      • GHG says:

        My understanding and usage of “ad hominem” is when one replaces factual debate with personal attack, regardless if the personal attack is factual.

        By calling Moore despicable, I could have used factual evidence to support my assertion, but instead chose to use personal attack by insinuating the nicest comment I could make about him is on his personal appearance. To me, that is ad hominem – in my opinion warranted and factual, but still ad hominem.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Moore’s comments about Kyle are an example of why he’s thoroughly despicable. One could point to refutations of the lies he has sold in his movies, but it’s been a decade or so since I read some of these and I don’t remember much. But I do remember a pair of them.

          In the first, he showed some front-page newspaper headline claiming that the 9/11/01 attacks were an inside job or some such; it turned out that it was the heading to a letter to the editor, which makes a big difference in terms of credibility.

          The second was a smear of Charlton Heston. Apparently he videotaped him asking the latter (who by then was already suffering from Alzheimer’s) about a prominent victim of gun violence. But someone who studied the scene concluded that the despicable Moore had in fact spliced in asking the question to give the impression that Heston was indifferent to shooting victims.

          I also recall that Moore, who affects to be a working-class hero, has gotten very wealthy and has a history of wearing out his welcome everywhere he works — and mistreating his own employees.

          So, overall, calling Moore a piece of shit is an insult — to shit.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            So, overall, calling Moore a piece of shit is an insult — to shit.

            Both could be used for fertilizer, but Moore is most likely toxic.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Just to muddy the waters a little, my Compact Oxford English Dictionary defines ad hominem as – “(of argument) personal rather than objective.”

        My Reader’s Digest Universal Dictionary defines it as -“1.Appealing to personal interests, prejudices, or emotions rather than to reason: an argument ad hominem. 2. Personally abusive: an ad hominem attack.

        So I guess if one uses objective information and reason to attack another, it is not ad hominem in the way many use the term.

        To call Obama a jug-eared fool would be ad hominem, but to call him a jug-eared Communist fool, would be still have some ad hominem aspect to it.

        To call Obama a lying, scheming, America-hating Communist, who happened to be jug-eared, would have nothing of the ad hominem about it.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          I just came across a Townhall piece on a poll asking what one word best describes His Royal Glibness Barackula. A lot of naïve sorts (or liberals, if there’s any real difference) used words such as “intelligent” or “good”, but there were plenty who more sensibly applied “incompetent” (33 out of about 750 respondents) or “stupid” (or variants), “liar”, and “arrogant”. This year “dictator” has shown up for the first time (12 respondents). If asked, probably depending on my mood, I would be inclined toward “demonic” or “satanic”.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        We must never forget that ridicule is a very effective tool against political enemies. And ad hominem attacks are often used in ridicule.

        We are in a huge culture war, which is, in my opinion, much more important than any economic war going on. Economies can recover, destroyed cultures rarely rise again in anything near their previous form or glory.

  10. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Civic forgetfulness in remembrances

    Dont’ get me wrong. I like good movies, especially patriot war movies. In fact, my older brother just saw “American Sniper” and loved it. I don’t doubt that it’s a terrific movie.

    But here’s my beef. And it’s not with Jerry. Jerry’s article just makes a convenient place to say this: We best be careful of symbolism over reality.

    I was reminded of just how deep this problem is when I was in a store last night. It was late and I was the only one in Game Stop while two twenty-something male employees were talking about 911 and terrorism in general. And they certainly didn’t sound like politically correct Islamic apologists. It seemed that they were against Islamic terrorism. Hell, that’s no small thing in and of itself.

    But the one person said that the real problem in our country is that we forget. The problem is that we won’t remember 911.

    It was all I could do to restrain myself. But I realized that getting into a discussion about this was probably over their heads. But look how girly-manish we’ve become. Think Michelle Obama and her stupid “hashtag” approach to the girls who were kidnapped in East Africa. Truly what those girls needed was a rescue team of Navy SEALS, not symbolic puffery whose only purpose, we must confess, is to make the symbolizer seem like a morally courageous person. Symbolism over reality.

    For this idiotic generation, problems are solved by “wearing the ribbon,” by marching in a parade, by symbolically holding up a pen when journalists are slaughtered, or by “remembering” 911.

    And that is all complete and utter horse manure. “Remembering” 911 means nothing. What are we remembering? Did wind blow the twin towers down? More and more, Islam seems to be “the hate that dares not speak its name.” People seem to think a generic communal “remembering” is some kind of powerful incantation.

    Well, it isn’t. And whether this movie is good or bad, I’ll take it as a form of entertainment. But never will I suppose, despite whatever Maureen Dowd thinks, that it says much about this culture. It’s just another movie. In fact, much as I think many conservative sites function, it could work simply as an outlet for emotions — emotions that really ought to be channeled to writing our Congressman or getting elected true patriots instead of the girly-man Marxists and Progressives who infect society. All those wholesome and heroic Ronald Reagan films did squat. But he changed the world when he took his ideas into more practical realms.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      We best be careful of symbolism over reality

      What are you talking about? Don’t you know symbolism is superior to reality in today’s world?

      The best example of this nonsense is the ribbon all those Hollywood idiots wear as a vague support of AIDS. Like wearing a ribbon is going to do something to eradicate the disease.

      While wearing a ribbon will do nothing to get rid of AIDS, it apparently does wonders for the wearer’s ego and self-esteem, which is the real goal.

      And this whole self-esteem movement is pushed by those in the Left as they like a dumbed down populace which believes it is intelligent, while it is in fact about as dumb as a rock. That way, the self-esteeming types are too busy and dim to actually understand, or even note what is really going on in the world.

      “Heh, can’t you see my ribbon, which shows I have done my part? There’s no need to actually do something like curtail my perverted proclivities as regards to anal sex, you haters.”

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        The best example of this nonsense is the ribbon all those Hollywood idiots wear as a vague support of AIDS. Like wearing a ribbon is going to do something to eradicate the disease.

        Yup. And, of course, those ribbon’s aren’t about curing AIDS or helping homosexuals. If one really cared for those who engage in that behavior, you would counsel them to either go straight or at least not be promiscuous.

        Instead, smarmy people line up to announce to the world, via the color of ribbon they wear, just how “socially conscious” they are. It’s about shinning a light on them, not helping others. It’s a mob mentality, even if in this case the mob isn’t tearing anyone to shreds but simply shredding ribbons to dispense amongst each other. As you said, ego and self-esteem are the real goal.

        It actually would be a wonderful thing to cure AIDS. Conservatives such as myself are fully for that, for if we could wrap our heads around that kind of nasty retrovirus, we’d go a long way toward curing other, less preventable, diseases. As for now, cease from sticking your penis into another guy’s anus. Or get another hobby.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          It actually would be a wonderful thing to cure AIDS. Conservatives such as myself are fully for that, for if we could wrap our heads around that kind of nasty retrovirus

          The ability to attach any virus as we do bacteria, would be great. Think influenza. But I fear we are still a long way from that.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Oh, I’m definitely thinking influenza at the moment, Mr. Kung. My younger brother is just starting to get over his bout of it, and I’m hoping that I don’t get it.

            Either God or Darwin has a lot to answer for for creating these nasty little things.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          If they really wanted to do something about AIDS, they would do their best to get rid of the bath house culture of homosexual promiscuity that spreads it so rapidly. And they would be very careful about letting homosexuals make blood donations. But they do neither one because the whole point is solidarity with the Lavender Thought Police (qho basically are a bunch of heterophobic homofascists).

    • Timothy Lane says:

      My solution to the Boko Haram mass kidnapping a year ago would have been to wipe out one of their towns — and do another every day until all the girls had been returned. (And if they couldn’t all be returned — well, tough luck for those who inhabit the area dominated by the jihadi swine.) Perhaps I’m influenced here by my extensive reading about World War II.

  11. GHG says:

    We best be careful of symbolism over reality

    That is the insidiousness of leftist influence on our culture. Keep moving the line of acceptable thought so that what would have been unacceptably extreme yesterday seems mainstream today. Individual responsibility has been replaced by proxy. Thought trumps action, hence the importance on proper thought over proper action.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Mr. Lesser, I started reading this book yesterday: Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. Given that it’s obviously written by a fully secular-based psychoanalyst, it will either prove to be yet another weak analysis of problems made inscrutable by the secular mind, or her stumbling through the problems will provide particular insights to the conservative who reads it. I haven’t decided yet whether to continue on with it. But some of her observations of the “wired” age seem right on. I love this, for example:

      With Julia’s permission, one of her teachers has been listening to our conversation about the phone. She asks, sensibly, “Why don’t you turn it off?” Julia’s answer is immediate: “It might be my mother. There might be an emergency.” Her teacher persists gently: “But couldn’t your mom call the school?” Julia does not hesitate: “Yeah, but what if it was one of my other friends having the emergency right in school?”

      Julia describes the kinds of emergencies that compel her to respond to any signal from her phone. She talks about a hypothetical situation with a “friend” (later Julia will admit that she was describing herself): “Let’s say she got into trouble. She knows she didn’t do something, but she needs to tell somebody, she needs to tell me. Or, I know this one sounds kind of silly, but if she was having friend or boy trouble, she’d text me or call me. So those are the kind of things.” Having a feeling without being able to share it is considered so difficult that it constitutes an “emergency.”

      And her comment:

      Digital connections and the sociable robot may offer the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship.

      My own take on technology, particularly the phenomenon of obsessive text messaging, is about the trivialization of human culture, no less. Perhaps we could consider it a grand success that what is now considered an “emergency” is having an emotion that simply must be vomited out onto the internet to someone else to share.

      One of the most difficult aspects of theism is the problem of evil and suffering. But from the example of the kind of Homo Frivolousness we see evolving, can we doubt that mankind would quickly become a meaningless vegetable of his own making without a little adversity? And can man develop character, refinement, and nobility if part of his makeup is not that old-fashioned British sense of understatement and reserved dignity?

      It’s not just political beliefs that set conservatives apart from so many people today, profound though those differences may be. It’s that they have little or no affinity for trivial people who are no deeper than the skins they put on their iPhones. I may disagree with Christopher Hitchens, for example, and think him a numbskull for his atheistic beliefs, and his naive affinity for socialism and the Left, in general. But one cannot doubt that he was a serious person. Can you say that of most well-known people? Can you say that of most of your neighbors?

      Mark Steyn has recently commented that the overriding fixation of Europeans is planning their next vacation. And I can believe that.

  12. GHG says:

    “… trivial people who are no deeper than the skins they put on their iPhones”

    Reflexive vs. thoughtful. Instant gratification vs. immersed appreciation.

    They’re always out of their depth because they have no depth. Rote talking points buttressed by emotional orthodoxy.

  13. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Speaking of current movies that sound good, here’s a good article by Nat Brown on the hacker movie, Blackhat.

  14. Jerry Richardson says:

    Brad,

    But here’s my beef. And it’s not with Jerry. Jerry’s article just makes a convenient place to say this: We best be careful of symbolism over reality.

    Brad, I haven’t felt in the least that your discussions were aimed at me or my article. I find all the discussions, everyone’s, interesting.

    I think you are close to something important here, but I’m not sure you’ve quite hit the mark. Human beings create, use, and surround themselves with symbols. In fact, a possible definition of a human being is “a being who creates and uses symbols.” We don’t even think or speak without symbols.

    The serious question to me is whether a symbolism represents true reality or whether a symbolism is an attempt to create reality. So if your opposition to symbolism over reality means that reality should precede symbolism then I completely agree.

    In my mind the public’s reaction to America Sniper is their quantified support (measured by their money spent on the movie) of the symbolism of the reality of the necessity-for and the unavoidable violence-of justified defensive-warfare. I think there is very little arguable concern here for symbolism over reality, because of the truthfulness of the reality that the symbolism represents.

    In all the diversity of argument that you present, I don’t detect that you believe there is no truth to the assertion that the US has a valid and realistic need to fight and kill Islamic Jihadists. You’ve made it abundantly clear, I think, that you believe we need vigorous action against them.

    And if that is the case, I don’t think you have a substantial argument against the symbolism per se of a movie that represents a true reality.

    Since you are an astute movie critic, perhaps your argument is a concern about the description of the reality? Symbolism differs from description. A symbol does not describe a reality; a symbol represents, stands-for, or points-to a reality; it is much the same as a name or a label in that respect.

    Concern for symbolism over reality is a critically important issue when there is no reality that the symbol truthfully represents; less important when there is a symbolized reality.

    Christians consider the Cross to be a symbol. But the reason that the Cross (even if empty as in protestant churches) has been used as a symbol for Christianity for 2000 plus years is the fact that the empty Cross was preceded by the reality of the Cross with Jesus nailed to it. Reality preceded symbolism.

    Brad, the problem I have with your argumentation is that woven into your multi-directional discussion is a tone of unarticulated criticism of justifiable symbolism, i.e., symbolism based upon reality; in addition you present no clear distinction between justifiable and non-justifiable symbolism.

    If your argument is that some people consider a symbol more important than the reality it represents; then yes, I absolutely believe that such an argument can be made for certain situations, e.g, in America today the symbolism of racism is much more important than any actual racism—of course the problem with this argument is that the symbolism is being used in an attempt to create reality; so we are actually talking about a non-justifiable symbolism.

    I’m not convinced you can make that argument (symbol is more important than the reality) about a large majority of the American people relative to the movie American Sniper and the reality of the need to effective fight Islamic-Jihadists.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      In my mind the public’s reaction to America Sniper is their quantified support (measured by their money spent on the movie) of the symbolism of the reality of the necessity-for and the unavoidable violence-of justified defensive-warfare.

      Jerry, I find it hard to get optimistic about the success of American Sniper. Certainly it must be an entertaining film. And with such widespread appeal, it’s unlikely to be a strictly conservative appeal — unless it is sort of become a “we’re fed up” rallying point. Anything is possible. But many of the same butts that filled those theatre seats likely voted for Obama, cried while watching “Avatar,” and hate Sarah Palin.

      I don’t detect that you believe there is no truth to the assertion that the US has a valid and realistic need to fight and kill Islamic Jihadists.

      If I was Elizabeth Montgomery and could send all Jihadists (and their supporters) to oblivion with a twitch of my nose, there would suddenly be a few less tens of million of people on planet earth.

      Since you are an astute movie critic, perhaps your argument is a concern about the description of the reality?

      My argument or observation, Jerry, as an armchair prognosticator is I’ve heard this tune many times before. I’ll believe that the success of a movie such as “American Sniper” shows a fundamental wisdom and resolve in America’s character (and thus voting habits) when I see them stop supporting causes and people that undermine America. Even people who want to do the right thing have been so cluster-bombed by liberal nonsense, they don’t know which way is up.

      So I understand why I overheard some young men recently in the mall saying “What we need to do is REMEMBER 911.” They were using the only cultural means available to them to add emphasis to what they thought was something urgent. Had they been to Brad’s “Islamic 101” class at StubbornThings, they’d know what to do is not to watch a movie. They would know to: Go to church, vote for true conservatives, learn your history, get involved in local private charities and concerns, and stop messing around with the idiotic libertarians.

      Then when their intellectual and moral character is sufficiently formed, we’d talk about the difficult task of preserving freedom and inalienable rights (including freedom of religion) in a world where there are people whose “religion” is akin to a Nazi-like movement. We have to make some difficult distinctions. And instead of a blank-check “tolerance,” we need to get in touch with our good basic American values and demand, not ask, that those who are in this country hold to them.

      Most men do not have the moral or intellectual backbone for that. And most women, frankly, can’t see past their emotions which have been so badly used and manipulated primarily by marketing men.

      Before we can successfully stand up against Jihad, we have to face up to the foreigners in our midst: The Left/Progressives. And before having a thought deeper than a mud puddle, we must find an orientation for our thoughts outside of the media, including movies.

      you present no clear distinction between justifiable and non-justifiable symbolism.

      Jerry, I think your distinction is missing the point…or I haven’t made my point well enough. My point is that a lot of emotional energy goes into symbolism which is a dead-end street (such as Michelle Obama’s hashgtag regarding the kidnapped girls in Africa). As conservatives, by all means, get excited about a patriotic movie where there are clear good guys and bad guys, and both correspond to reality. But don’t assume you’re witnessing much more than movie-going entertainment. The same people who filled those seats — for the very purpose of being entertained — are likely no more conversant in seeing through the disguise of the next Obama.

      A culture that lives by entertainment is not likely one that can see through the styrofoam Greek columns.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        A reference to Bewitched? You’re showing your age — but of course you already did that previously with your discussion of The Dick Van Dyke Show.

        One thing to remember about the crowds for American Sniper is that we have no idea who they are. Still, this does mean that a large number of Americans remain comfortable with American exceptionalism. The problem is that they choose to know too little about current politics and governance to realize what’s happening (and thus what needs to be done). What can be done to make such people pay attention? Well, movies like this are at least a start.

  15. GHG says:

    What did the holding up of a pen symoblize? Or the locked arm parade of “dignitaries” symbolize? Mere sound and fury signifying nothing is not quite right. The problem is sound and fury resulting in nothing. Holding up a pen doesn’t stop the next massacre.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Mr. Lesser, that’s a great point. I think in many respects we’re seeing an Orwellian world unfolding. We’re seeing sort of an analog of the Two Minute Hate. But it comes out in our Kindergarten culture more like the Two Minute Nice. It’s purely symbolic and likely narcissistic (since it’s about “feeling importing” or “doing something” without a care in a world that holding a pen in the air is effectively worthless). And it’s certainly a mindless groupthink event.

      When they start teaching the truth of Islam, either in schools or in the media, that would be much more effective than holding up a pen. You’d think all of the Islamic terrorism would be a built-in and self-evident lesson regarding the nature of Islam. And surely it is for a lot of people. But even more people want to believe Islam is a “religion of peace.”

      And given that the authorities won’t stand up for frank speech about Islam (and, as Steyn and others have noted, you may even be prosecuted for it), what incentive is there in Europe for anyone — private citizen or government official — to blow through the propaganda dam?

      All one is left to do is hold up a pen. But instead of holding that pen uselessly in the sky, they need to turn it back down to the earth and beginning writing some thoughts with it. Had that rally we saw showed people all holding drawings of Mohammed with a bomb in his hat, then I would would have said the French were coming around to growing a pair. But the pen in the air just symbolized the fact that they’re still PC pussies.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      To be precise, the pens symbolized whatever action was taken, just as the hashtag campaigns do. When nothing is done because such symbolism takes the place of action, then they do indeed represent nothing. But technically it’s the substitution of symbolism for substance, not the symbolism itself, that’s the problem.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        technically it’s the substitution of symbolism for substance

        Which is fundamentally dishonest. Standard modus operandi for the Left. Again, they are trying their best to create a passive populace which is easily duped. So many sheep, if you will.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Yes, you’ll no doubt recall that Rush Limbaugh describes liberalism as “symbolism over substance”. No surprise it was the Black Queen showing the hashtag that represented their sole known “action” against Boko Haram.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            I beg your pardon! How can you claim the Black Queen’s hashtag is simply “symbolism over substance”? Baa, baa. Excuse me while I chew another mouthful of grass.

            Buy the way, I really do think the Black Queen is truly one of the dummies who follow the Left due to grievance. I read her university “thesis” and was shocked that something of such poor quality could pass for acceptable work at an Ivy League school. She is simply not bright enough to formulate a plan of attack.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              There’s a reason why one of the words I use most to describes liberals is “ovine”. To be fair, the Black Queen might more accurately be described as psittacine.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                psittacine

                Had to look that one up. I love it. Aaawk! Michelle want a cracker.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                I looked it up some months ago too, in order to come up some such term. Given “psittacosis” and “psittacosaurus”, it made since that the parrot equivalent to ovine would be psittacine.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        But technically it’s the substitution of symbolism for substance, not the symbolism itself, that’s the problem.

        Yes, Timothy. And hopefully my point was clear to Jerry and others:

        + I like war movies, especially when Americans are the good guys (and are actually good) and they defeat the bad guys (and the bad guys are deserving of being defeated)

        + I like Clint Eastwood

        + I don’t like Islamists (so-called) and they have declared themselves in word and deed to be no better than Nazis and should be treated as such

        + I wouldn’t get too optimistic in this entertainment-based culture if there is support for a pro-American movie.

        + Much of what passes for “action” these days is nothing but feel-good un-substantive symbolism as in wearing an AIDS ribbon that does nothing to fight AIDs compared to somebody writing a check to a medical foundation for research (or working to save homosexuals from their destructive lifestyle and/or moderating the impact by teaching the dangers of promiscuity).

        + Don’t strip me naked, get me drunk, and tie me to a post…unless you’re a hot chick and mean business.

  16. Jerry Richardson says:

    Brad,

    From my perspective it seems that you are willing to throw-out all symbolic babies with the does-no-good bathwater. Is that justified cynicism?

    Surly that is not what you are suggesting?

    If that is not the case, then please give me a couple of examples of what you would consider useful and worthwhile symbolism.

    For example: The Boston Tea party is usually considered symbolic, correctly I think. If you had been living and writing at the time of the Boston Tea party what would you have said. Was it not worthwhile? Please don’t give me the easy-out answer: “Wouldn’t have been if the Revolution had not followed.” That result was far from known at the time the tea was dumped into the harbor.

    The result of any justifiable symbolism today cannot be known today. But is activity following symbolism the only criterion of symbolism’s value? What about the value of truth?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      From my perspective it seems that you are willing to throw-out all symbolic babies with the does-no-good bathwater. Is that justified cynicism?

      I’m suggesting to praise good movies all the heck, but don’t read too much into their success — especially in a culture that has, for all practical purposes, become an unreality-based entertainment culture.

      Hey, I’d love another Boston Tea Party. But they didn’t enact that by going to a movie theatre and watching a theatrical recreation of it. I’ll get excited when I see people throw tea into the harbor, not when they watch movies about it. The latter is not a bad thing, but my whole point is to not put too much emphasis on the movie aspect of it. At least not yet.

  17. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I think it bears pointing out that words are actually symbols. They are not the thing itself. As I have said before, the only word I know of that is the thing it symbolizes is the word “word”.

    Words being symbols, there is always the risk of people getting overly invested in verbiage as opposed to reality. This is easily done as given the symbolism of words and the ease which different meanings can be read into them, it can be satisfying to give more weight to words/symbols than is perhaps warranted.

    As children, we learn by the actions of others. Of course, adults give us verbal instructions, but concrete learning is from observation of the actions of others. Actions do not lend themselves to obfuscation and confusion the way words do.

    I believe that what Brad is describing is the increasing tendency of people to mistake the viewing of a symbol as activity doing something. This is called mental masturbation in Japan. Like mistaking feeling sorry for someone, for the concrete act of helping that someone. Feeling is so much easier and less dirty. I think modern technology has only fed this delusion in many. Passivity becomes the norm.

  18. GHG says:

    Islam is the religion of peace vs Islam is the religion of the sword. Are those statements mutually exclusive? It would appear a priori yes. But consider the concept that perception is reality, not literally, but in the minds of the confused, misinformed, deluded, etc. If we are to believe that the vast majority of the 1+ billion Muslims worldwide truly believe that Islam is the religion of peace and do not tacitly agree with the actions of the “extremists” – how does that make a difference in the appropriate response to those extremists? Wars always cause collateral damage. If the peace loving Muslims don’t want to go down with the extremists, they have two options – either clean up their own house or get out of the way. This whole “Islam is the religion of peace” meme is not relevant to the reality that must be addressed, regardless if most Muslims aren’t extremists. This is just another leftist feint to distract.

  19. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Someone sent me this article by David French wherein he says that the Eastwood movie is indeed indicative of something deeper: American Sniper Has Created a Cultural Moment: Here’s Why

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I think I had read it already, but in any case it was a nice article. I will mention that another I read elsewhere suggested that much of the attendance came from veterans and active-duty military. But I think French’s article is indicative of a wider appeal.

    • GHG says:

      The comments (at least the 40-50 I read) are quite telling. The America hating horde are there to bluster and spew their talking points and insults.

      I’ve been remiss to not comment on this yet, and I hope I don’t jinx things ( 🙂 ), but it’s really refreshing to hang out in this blog and not be subjected to trolls. I don’t know if that’s pure luck or Brad has been doing a yeoman’s job at holding them at bay.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Mr. Lesser, with me being the contrarian, who needs a troll?

        I haven’t had to shoo away many, that’s for sure. Certainly the lineup is formidable enough here (and, more importantly, experienced enough) not to play into a troll’s game. But when we get bigger? Who knows?

  20. Jerry Richardson says:

    The reason that I argue that American Sniper is justifiable symbolism is that it represents the truth. The reason that I argue that American Sniper is important symbolism is not just the fact that it infuriates the left, which it obviously does, but the fact that it highlights the hypocrisy of the left relative to justifiable war—in general the left doesn’t support self-defense including justifiable war; however they remains relatively quiet about it when a Democrat Administration is in power. But let us have a Republican Administration and the gloves of politeness come off.

    The importance of American Sniper as symbolism relates to its usefulness in revealing the true opinions of ordinary Americans relative to the if’s and the how’s for making war on a brutal-aggressor enemy.

    The left (the part that is Hollywood) has tried mightily to influence those opinions with anti-war movies and also they (that part that is the media) have tried unceasingly to misrepresent those opinions by giving prime attention to anti-war propaganda. Of course, the anti-war propaganda is front-and-center and intense under any Republican administration. Recall the incessant attacks upon America and George W. Bush from Code Pink. Where have they been during the Obama Administration?

    It is somewhat unfortunate, perhaps, that we live in a nation in which opinions, often in the form of opinion-polls, carry so much weight—they can so easily be manipulated—but they do. Known opinions sway voters. Voters determine who we select as leaders. Hence known opinions are important.

    I don’t see how anyone could logically argue that a symbolism that reveals wide-spread public-opinion is not important symbolism. Symbolism sways opinion. Opinion sways public policy. Public policy changes behavior. Behavior changes the world.
    Below are excerpts from an interesting article in The Weekly Standard:

    The ‘American Sniper’ Freakout

    Why the left can’t tolerate this movie.

    The left has tried to avoid the anti-American stain it acquired in the Vietnam era by making sure to mouth platitudes about supporting the troops while criticizing the war. The reaction to American Sniper seems to suggest this pose is insincere. Either you’re rooting for Kyle and his fellow soldiers or you’re rooting for AQI. There is no middle ground in American Sniper. The film simply asks audiences to consider the motivations of American soldiers on the ground in Iraq, and then asks whether or not these motivations make them heroic. This may be a difficult question for Michael Moore, but the film and its rapturous audiences answer it with a resounding yes. In a scene taken straight from his autobiography, when Kyle first meets the woman he will marry, she tells him she doesn’t date military men because they are self-centered. “Why would you say I’m self-centered?” Kyle asks, genuinely surprised. “I’d lay down my life for this country.”
    —-
    …Kyle’s flaws don’t begin to explain the knee-jerk negative reaction to the film on the left, which goes far beyond the predictable political complaints. Academy voters have been circulating a much-derided New Republic article by a Penn State professor of international affairs who denounced the film in spite of his admission that he had seen only the trailer. The Washington Examiner also reports that the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence had supporters venting about the film on its Facebook page. If Navy SEALs in combat zones can’t legitimately engage in gun violence, who can?

    Part of it is simply that the film portrays Kyle as a proud southern, rural, religious, patriotic jock and gun enthusiast who was much more anguished about the people he was unable to save in Iraq than about the 160 confirmed sniper kills that the Navy credits him with. All of these traits are anathema to the left, though nearly all of the great soldiers in American history possessed one or more of them. Leftists simply can’t digest the fact that their own safety is predicated on the willingness to fight of courageous men they openly disdain.
    —-
    Even before the film was released, the Texan’s reputation was such that his funeral had to be held in Cowboys Stadium to accommodate the mourners. Chris Kyle’s nickname in Iraq was “The Legend,” and the film only cements what many, many of his fellow soldiers already knew.

    The American Sniper Freakout

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Geez, why does it fall upon me to be the cynical one? 😀

      How many times have I seen the Republicans gain the House and/or Senate and then all my conservative friends said, “Now we’ll do something!” Well, David Harsanyi writes smartly about the House Republicans’ Cowardly Retreat regarding preventing late-term abortions.

      There are certainly people thirsty for good ol’ American ethics and heroes, and I think we have one in Chris Kyle. But I’m nearly all out of credulity. If Jesus Christ came tomorrow in the Second Coming, I’d want DNA, fingerprints, and blood samples just to make sure he’s the real deal.

      Yes, I take it for granted that the idea of killing the “noble savage” (and that’s how the Left views Muslims) is totally anathema to them. They think of themselves as The Nice People. They don’t kill. Killing is just the result of a misunderstanding or conservative racism or obstinance. And a sniper (a white, Christian Texan of all people) has got to be the scariest thing to these weenies.

      I saw a bumper sticker on a car yesterday that said, “Work for peace – keep an open mind.” And that defines the Left. They are “open,” “sensitive,” “thoughtful,” congenial — Who couldn’t like them? We used to call such people “doormats” and its evident that the Muslims have figured this out too.

      There are bad people out there — the very people the Left coddles. In Muslims they see a kindred spirit — both are victims of “capitalism,” of “imperialism,” of “paternalism,” of all the insensitive ism’s that get in the way of a warm, caring, kumbaya-filled Utopia. The very idea of “good” and “evil” is for low-brow religious kooks. They know that all that anyone needs is “respect,” “equality,” and a bit of “understanding.”

      And Muslims will keep slaughtering those who live in European countries because they are wolves among the sheep and there are no shepherds. And I have almost no faith that Americans will wake up to the fact that they have an America-hating Marxist as president (who belongs to a similar-feeling party).

      One fellow over at National Review wrote in the comments section:

      The answers are simple and comprehensible. Obama WANTS Iran to win. He is PRO Iran, ANTI Israel, ANTI American. If people would only recognize the Obvious Freaking Truth we could work to drive this traitorous bum out of office.

      He’s absolutely right. And filling seats in a theatre for a pro-American movie might be a good sign. But I’ll believe that when I see it. And I don’t think I will live to see the rank and file Americans throw these traitorous bums out. We are too near that tipping point. Too many people are corrupted by government hand-outs.

      God bless the movie goers of discriminating taste. But they are an island in the midst of a corrupt culture.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        The funny thing is that those liberals who prate about being open-minded and tolerant are in reality the most closed-minded and intolerant people imaginable. I learned this 20 years ago from an anonymous postcard to FOSFAX.

        That poster on NRO wasn’t me, but I’ve said much the same (albeit phrased differently) on several occasions. Of course, it’s true not only for Jihad’s Man in the White House, but most other liberals as well. And that, ultimately, is why so many reflexively hate American Sniper.

  21. GHG says:

    Yes, the tipping point. That is the train fast approaching. Although I don’t think de Tocqueville is the savant some consider him to have been, he did have some prescient things to say, one of which regarding the tipping point:

    “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

    It discovered that a long time ago, it’s just taking a while to get it fully implemented, although they’re just about there.

    And the result will be loss of liberty which reminds me of another de Tocqueville quote”

    “Democracy and socialism have nothing in commen but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”

  22. Jerry Richardson says:

    Brad,
    Thanks for you openness and honesty. I think that’s what I admire about you most: Your honesty and openness. You are willing to have an honest conversation as to why you are a cynic, albeit with a bit of tongue in cheek.

    I think you make a well-articulated case for your cynicism in this particular situation.

    I have my own areas of cynicism which I often vent. But then I try to find an up-side somewhere, at least later. My problem with 100-Proof cynicism is that I believe it is self-defeating. It is logically self-refuting.

    By the 19th century, emphasis on the negative aspects of Cynic philosophy led to the modern understanding of cynicism to mean a disposition of disbelief in the sincerity or goodness of human motives and actions.

    If a person truly disbelieves in the sincerity of human motives and actions, how can he then truly believe in the sincerity of a professed cynic? Logically he cannot.

    What I’m really trying to discern about your brand of cynicism is whether it is more of a writers-ploy, or devil’s-advocate position; or more of an ingrained pessimism from a dedicated Conservative who mourns a world that seems to be going to hell in a Progressive hand-basket.

    I completely grok that feeling.

    But unfiltered cynicism is a loser; it is not only self-refuting it is a political loser. Why? In reality, people cannot live, be happy, and be productivity without hope. Hope in what? Hope that somewhere, somehow, by some means there is goodness in people and we can assist that goodness.

    I don’t buy your cynicism. I think it’s somewhat of an act. A good act, yes; but nevertheless an act. I don’t believe a true cynic could honestly say the following:

    But one reason I started this site — perhaps the main reason — was to have a place of sanity, not a place to just bitch and moan. And I don’t at all mind people bitching and moaning (at least if they do it creatively and with a bit of humor). But I look at what passes for conservative media on the web and I sometimes get depressed. Where’s the spirit of good ol’ Americanism? Where’s the optimism? Where’s that attitude of counting blessings? —Brad Nelson in a comment to Anniel in Potpourri

    Let me repeat part of your quote: “Where’s the spirit of good ol’ Americanism? Where’s the optimism? Where’s that attitude of counting blessings?”

    You may fool some people Brad, but you ain’t fooling me: You’ve got hope for a better USA. We’re all grappling on how best to assist that effort.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Well, it’s an open question how much of what I’m saying is “cynical” instead of realistic.

      What I’m really trying to discern about your brand of cynicism is whether it is more of a writers-ploy, or devil’s-advocate position; or more of an ingrained pessimism from a dedicated Conservative who mourns a world that seems to be going to hell in a Progressive hand-basket.

      I do both! But in this case, it’s a case of “I’ll believe it when I see it.” I’m less impressed with people going to a movie (which is, after all, a form of passive entertainment) than if they were to stand up to the Left in some tangible way that involved risk and courage.

      Let me repeat part of your quote: “Where’s the spirit of good ol’ Americanism? Where’s the optimism? Where’s that attitude of counting blessings?”

      From what I’ve heard, I would say the movie is full of good ol’ Americanism. But the lessons we draw from the success of the movie are another thing. Again, I’ll believe it when I see it. I hope people use a movie such as this as a rallying point to stand up to the Left in their lives, their jobs, and their churches. But I’ll believe that when I see it.

      Some do. When that guy from Chick fil A stood up against the Pink Mafia, I thought that was a real and tangible thing. And I think Clint Eastwood is a good guy, but making a popular movie is still not in the realm of Chuck Heston standing up in front of the shareholders meeting and reading to the crowd the pornographic rap lyrics. But I do give Clint some credit for the subject matter.

      If the world’s problems could be solved by stoking warm-fuzzy emotions, then this movie is like cultural penicillin. But I don’t think it works like that. Sitting passively at a movie and enjoying good ol’ Americanism (and, apparently, a quite entertaining movie as well) is not quite the same thing as standing up to the Cultural Commissars in one’s real life, wherever one finds them. And some people do, and god bless them. But in order of fix America and confront the Left, it’s likely going to take more than one popular movie.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      One might note that cynicism has two meanings. One, which you’re talking about here, can be described as embittered idealism. Most of us probably qualify to some extent; it’s probably the natural response of anyone who is at all idealistic to prolonged exposure to reality. Note that cynicism doesn’t require distrusting everyone, merely realizing that an awful lot of people who claim to adhere to certain ideals are just pretending. (The technical term for a large group of such people is “Republican politicians”.)

      Incidentally, the other form of cynicism is a barely concealed wickedness — with the concealment being pro forma and not really expected to fool anyone. The classic example, which may be apocryphal, is a jail guard reporting a prisoner “poisoned while trying to escape”. This type of cynicism is a standard characteristic of leftists. (I recall that Shirer described certain exchanges between the Nazis and Communists during their brief period of alignment as being very cynical in this way. Just sayin’.)

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        can be described as embittered idealism. Most of us probably qualify to some extent; it’s probably the natural response of anyone who is at all idealistic to prolonged exposure to reality

        I like to think I am skeptical as opposed to cynical. It is absolutely healthy to be skeptical about most human beings. That is why finding a few people one can trust is so important. That is not to say that everyone we deal with are crooks, but it doesn’t take many to ruin things for others. Much of history is, to a large degree, the story of criminals trying to take advantage of the rest of us.

        Various studies have shown that the combined percentage of psychopaths and sociopaths in society is somewhere around 3-4%. That is enough to make things difficult for everyone.

        And it is a major reason Libertarians are sucking air philosophically.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          I look over reason.com now, and they had an interesting article by a libertarian woman basically shilling for abortion (as I implicitly noted in my own response). I will point out that there were many other critics besides me, but she was an excellent example of libertinist libertarianism.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I read that article by Elizabeth Nolan Brown here. It’s full of the kind of hyperventilated zealousness and disingenuous logic that libertarians are known for.

            making a big show about restricting women’s bodily autonomy

            Only morally sick people would use such a euphemism. If you want to make the case that people should be able to have promiscuous sex and that any consequences should be paid by the unborn, then just say so. Make a case for it. But libertarians (and others) try to hide their evil behind Orwellian language.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              In my first response, I repeatedly noted how she “carefully failed” to mention things — the exact sort of attack I use against liberals, since the point of the “carefully” is to indicate that it’s deliberate (and thus dishonest).

            • GHG says:

              I got half way through the 4th paragraph of Ms. Brown’s article and couldn’t go on. I just don’t have the energy to suffer these drones anymore.

  23. GHG says:

    My wife and I saw American Sniper last night. She hadn’t read any reviews but had a couple friends who saw and commented on it and she had the impression that it would be similar to a Liam Neeson movie we saw a few years back named “The Grey”, not in the story line, but that it would be intense and keep you on the edge of your seat the way “The Grey” did. She recalled leaving the theater after seeing “The Grey” and feeling exhauted after staying in a clench through the whole movie. I knew what she meant and even though I enjoyed “The Grey” I don’t usually like movies when I keep thinking something is going to jump out at me.

    That wasn’t the case at all with “American Sniper”. It had it’s tense battle scenes but they were well done without the “scare you” factor. I thought the movie was well done in all areas. Showing Chris Kyle the soldier, the sheepdog, the husband and father, the American patriot – the human being with flaws and integrity and courage.

    There’s much else I could comment on, all postive, but for those of you who have seen the movie don’t need a review, and those who have not seen it – pictures are worth more than a thousand words from me – just go see it.

    I’ll just add one more comment and applaud Clint Eastwood for the way he handled the end of the movie. I’m happy I didn’t have to see The Legend die.

  24. Jerry Richardson says:

    Brad,

    But here’s my beef. And it’s not with Jerry. Jerry’s article just makes a convenient place to say this: We best be careful of symbolism over reality.
    —Brad

    The serious question to me is whether a symbolism represents true reality or whether a symbolism is an attempt to create reality. So if your opposition to symbolism over reality means that reality should precede symbolism then I completely agree.

    In my mind the public’s reaction to America Sniper is their quantified support (measured by their money spent on the movie) of the symbolism of the reality of the necessity-for and the unavoidable violence-of justified defensive-warfare. I think there is very little arguable concern here for symbolism over reality, because of the truthfulness of the reality that the symbolism represents.—Jerry

    But technically it’s the substitution of symbolism for substance, not the symbolism itself, that’s the problem.
    Yes, Timothy. And hopefully my point was clear to Jerry and others…—Brad

    Brad, it is difficult for me to understand how anyone can read my article and my comments and somehow conclude that I would support symbolism over substance; especially since I specifically stated that “reality should precede symbolism”—you cannot logically arrive at such a conclusion based upon what I said. Substance is a synonym (for me) for reality. So Substance should precede symbolism.

    But that truth does not invalidate the importance of a particular symbolism; especially if the symbolism represents truth. If symbolism is misused, as by the left, in an attempt to create substance or reality; then it is bogus and becomes dangerous symbolism, and should be so identified. I do not believe this is the case with American Sniper

    My point about the symbolism of American Sniper is that it has some deeply-rooted political and ideological meanings, and this is why the left despises it so badly.

    I don’t consider Rush Limbaugh as some unassailable sage of the right, yet he often puts his finger on political truth. Here’s what he said on his website today:

    THE COUNTRY’S RESPONSE TO AMERICAN SNIPER IS SENDING A SIGNAL TO THE LEFT.

    …I think the success of American Sniper, there’s a whole lot of things rolled into it. I think people are going to this movie in the same way they showed up to vote in November, and I think the box office for American Sniper is an extension of the November elections.

    I think it is the American people continuing to express two things: Their utter outrage at what is happening in Washington and the inattention Washington is paying to the health and the goodness of the country. And the second thing that they are doing is enforcing what they believe to be good old traditional American values, and everything wrapped up in it. And they want people to know that they are out there in huge numbers and that they are not going away.

    The Country’s Response to American Sniper is Sending a Signal to the Left

    Limbaugh’s opinion of the significance of the “signal” (which of course is symbolic) is exactly in line with my thinking. I agree that no one should over-estimate the importance of the symbolism of American Sniper; but at the same time I think it’s short-sighted to marginalize its importance by virtually considering it as per Faulkner, “…sound and fury signifying nothing.”

    My argument is simply that American Sniper signifies some very important gut-emotions in American; not that the symbolism should replace substance such as going to the polls and voting out the left.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      as per Faulkner, “…sound and fury signifying nothing.”

      This phrase has a much better father than Faulkner. It comes from MacBeth.

      “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
      That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
      And then is heard no more: it is a tale,
      Told by an idiot full of sound and fury.
      Signifying nothing.”

      Ole Bill sure could write.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I don’t consider Rush Limbaugh as some unassailable sage of the right, yet he often puts his finger on political truth. Here’s what he said on his website today:

      I like Rush. But he’s always predicting some great conservative backlash just around the corner. And such a thing hasn’t happened since Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House.

      Not having seen the movie, I suppose that, first and foremost, it’s a terrific movie. With “Letters from Iwo Jima,” Clint has shown himself capable of doing so. I suspect he’s gotten better since then.

      And I have no doubt that in this passive-entertainment-based culture that a movie could be a symbolic focus point for normal patriotic feelings — an outlet…like a kettle blowing off steam.

      I’m just saying let’s keep this all in perspective. Obama was not only elected but re-elected. Where were those great patriots then? Are people now so disgusted with Obama that they are starting to recognize the “social justice” Marxism inherent in the Left’s political slogans and goals? If so, wonderful. That’s what we want. But I seriously doubt it.

      And now what you mention it, Shakespeare line of “sound and fury” does have some relevance here. “American Sniper” doesn’t mean nothing. But I think whether the sound and fury of the ticket sales means little more than a vicarious (entertainment-based) outlet for people’s momentary feelings or something greater is yet to be seen.

      And, again, remember that we’re taking about movie attendance, not throwing tea into a harbor. I think there is good reason to remain careful about reading too much into passive-entertainment-based cultural events.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        To be fair, in 2012 “General Motors is alive and bin Laden is dead” and “Al Qaeda is on the run”. Those paying attention to pesky little details like Benghazi (note that “ghazi” is a Muslim holy warrior, as when Watson’s orderly Murray saves him from the “murderous ghazis” in A Study in Scarlet) knew better. Sadly, most Americans believe that their lack of interest in politics is harmless. It’s that apathy about being informed that constitutes the real problem.

  25. Timothy Lane says:

    Harry Jackson has an article today on American Sniper that cites a number of reasons why he considers it the best war movie ever made. He points out that it shows a number of key differences between America and the jihadists, such as the fact that Kyle talked with his wife and came home for his children — whereas to jihadists, women and children are just there to be used (often as forced suicide bombers). It’s available on Town Hall at the following link:

    http://townhall.com/columnists/carljackson/2015/01/27/why-every-civilian-should-see-the-movie-american-sniper-n1948941

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Well, from reading his biography, I would say that Chris Kyle was more than forthcoming that he ordered his priorities this way: God, country, family. He was constantly putting his profession (surely motivated, in part, by noble impulses) over his family. He admitted it. It was a major bone of contention between he and his wife.

      He did eventually come home, but probably only because his body and mind were so worn out. He liked doing what he liked doing and it was refreshing that he *didn’t* try to make his motives more noble than they were with a bunch of bullshit like “I’m protecting my family by fighting terrorists.” Certainly that is partially true. But he admitted repeatedly that he loved what he was doing.

      I won’t hang a guy for that. I admire his honesty instead of the typical “correct speak” you so often here these days.

      He came home and still had trouble adjusting to civilian life, admitting to developing a drinking problem for a while. When going at 100 mph for a decade or so, I find it completely understandable that slowing down to 25 mph would be difficult. And in his book, he’s honest about these aspects (assuming he isn’t holding back even worse stuff, which is the right of any biographer to do).

      I’ll be sure to see this movie when I can. But it will have to be quite a movie to be the best war film ever. I think, if anything, what this film has tapped is a desire by many to get back to some kind of normalcy in this country. And, to me, this was very obvious in the way people found such an uplifting and conservative theme to “Loan Survivor” which was actually, to my mind, a modern day, if unintentional, “Dr. Strangelove” of military fuck-ups.

      • GHG says:

        God, country, family.

        I agree with that sequence of priorities although I would add ‘self’ at the end – God, country (/community), family, self. It is the inversion of the leftist worldview that puts self first followed by family, community (/country for some), and God last for those who believe there may be a God.

        ” … he admitted repeatedly that he loved what he was doing.”

        Not having read the book I can’t be sure if the impression I got from the movie is correct, but my impression was he liked being the sheepdog, not really the killing. Although he didn’t have any qualms about killing, it was just the task he needed to do to be the best sheepdog he could be. I never got the sense that he got pleasure from killing another human being, only that he found purpose in killing the bad guy before the bad guy could kill a good guy.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Good point. I wonder what Bill Maher thinks of Batman, who admittedly is fictional but has much the same attitude on protecting the public as Kyle.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Not having read the book I can’t be sure if the impression I got from the movie is correct, but my impression was he liked being the sheepdog, not really the killing.

          He loved taking out the bad guys. I didn’t get the impression that he did so reluctantly. And certainly the context was in regards to keeping his buddies safe. But the guy was a warrior. He certainly seemed to like doing what he did. Considering who he was fighting, I would hardly expect a sane man to cry over the killing of these savages. I’ll see if I can find a relevant quote from the book. Here’s one:

          Even with the pain, I loved what I was doing. Maybe war isn’t really fun, but I certainly was enjoying it. It suited me.

          Here’s another quote:

          There’s another question people ask a lot: Did it bother you killing so many people in Iraq?

          I tell them, “No.”

          And I mean it. The first time you shoot someone, you get a little nervous. You think, can I really shoot this guy? Is it really okay? But after you kill your enemy, you see it’s okay. You say, Great.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            “Compared to war, all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance. God help me, I do love it so.”

            George Patton

            A warrior’s belief. I can understand how one could believe this as war is about as serious as society gets. Especially modern war. Nations utilize and expend huge resources when going to war.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I was going to bring up Patton; you just beat me to it. This attitude is why we need warriors (sheepdogs in Kyle’s metaphor, tiger hunters in mine) at times — but also why they have such problems in peaceful times. But peace has been rare historically, and it looks like it will be a while before we have it again, so warriors like Kyle will be essential.

              As for whether or not that is a psychopathic view, one should differentiate between the brute (who commits indiscriminate violence) and the warrior (whose violence is directed against enemies, and in Kyle’s case especially monstrous enemies). Those who try to claim Kyle was inherently a monster himself are nothing more than trolls — and recall that trolls tend to be psychopathic themselves. Let Bill Maher and Michael Moore and their fellow trolls go back to their bridges.

  26. GHG says:

    While all soldiers in combat are faced with the real possibility they may have to kill another human being, it is usually done in the heat of battle and the number of enemy killed are not generally attributed to any one specific soldier. It’s different for a sniper because he kills with cold calculated precision and his kills are like notches in the belt of a gunslinger. It lends to the perception of the sniper as a cold blooded killer rather than a soldier killing the enemy before the enemy kills him. There’s a certain element of unfairness with the sniper kill, like it’s not a fair fight. The victim of the sniper’s bullet doesn’t get the chance to fight back, he never sees it coming. Should that bother the sniper? Should he feel bad for not giving the enemy a fair chance to fight back? Can a reluctant sniper be effective?

    But war isn’t about being fair. It’s about using every advantage you have to kill the enemy and win the war before your enemy does that to you.

    I’m glad Kyle liked killing the enemy. I hope all American snipers do. It will help them be the best sniper they can be and that will help them kill more enemy so fewer Americans die.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Yes, the sniper certainly is no more “unfair” than using suicide bombers — especially children. Indeed, in guerrilla war, the latter is far worse, since the sniper (if operating under American rules of engagement, a point carefully ignored by the liberal trolls) has to make sure his target is really an enemy despite the lack of identifiers.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      While all soldiers in combat are faced with the real possibility they may have to kill another human being, it is usually done in the heat of battle and the number of enemy killed are not generally attributed to any one specific soldier. It’s different for a sniper because he kills with cold calculated precision and his kills are like notches in the belt of a gunslinger. It lends to the perception of the sniper as a cold blooded killer rather than a soldier killing the enemy before the enemy kills him. There’s a certain element of unfairness with the sniper kill, like it’s not a fair fight. The victim of the sniper’s bullet doesn’t get the chance to fight back, he never sees it coming. Should that bother the sniper? Should he feel bad for not giving the enemy a fair chance to fight back? Can a reluctant sniper be effective?

      But war isn’t about being fair. It’s about using every advantage you have to kill the enemy and win the war before your enemy does that to you.

      I’m glad Kyle liked killing the enemy. I hope all American snipers do. It will help them be the best sniper they can be and that will help them kill more enemy so fewer Americans die.

      I just wanted to repeat all that again, because I thought it was excellent. I’m right on the same page with you, Mr. Lesser. I think that’s excellent analysis and is consistent with the general attitude I found in the book.

      You take guys and put them together and they’ll joke about anything, including sniping, which they did at times. It’s an interesting theoretical question about when “liking” turns into something awful. But hunting is in man’s nature. I’m an oddball because I don’t particularly like to kill things. But I recognize that it’s very normal for someone to go hunting and to very much enjoy killing an elk, for example.

      There’s got to be an overlap with this regarding war, which is why so often war blurs almost seamlessly into murder and war crimes. Guys will be guys. Boys will be boys. That’s when it matters within what context and control the killings are taking place. As misguided as some of our rules of engagement are, there is at least a subtext to them which is to not let ourselves turn into an SS of any type (but probably more importantly, it was just a cover-your-ass situation, as Kyle notes several times in the book…and his analysis about such things rings true to my ear).

      I’m trying to think of a situation where someone would voluntarily become a sniper who didn’t like his job (killing). Certainly when the shit hits the fan, the common grunt soldier on the front lines will fight for his buddies, regardless of what the geo-political implications are. It’s what Patton referred to in the opening of the movie when he said,

      Wade into them! Spill their blood! Shoot them in the belly! When you put your hand into a bunch of goo that a moment before was your best friend’s face you’ll know what to do.

      The reality for the sniper is a little different because he’s taking a definite preemptive strike at people who don’t even see him. This doesn’t necessarily make him a monster, nor would I think he would necessarily enjoy killing in the sense of jumping up and down in glee at every successful snipe. But it does mean that there are probably very few conscientious objectors in the sniping corps. These are not the shrinking violets. These are people that have made a decision at some point that it’s more than okay to kill whoever their opponent is, and then they don’t apparently lose much sleep over it after that.

      At first blush, some of this reality seems a little shocking. But I think as you ride along with Kyle in his book, you begin to wish as he did that the ROE’s were a little less restrictive. They had to let people go who obviously were terrorists and who would come back to hunt them and haunt them again. But I guess you do have to draw lines somewhere when fighting an enemy who hides in and around civilians.

  27. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Should that bother the sniper? Should he feel bad for not giving the enemy a fair chance to fight back?

    Only if the sniper gets caught. As far back as the Napoleonic wars, snipers who were captured did not normally live very long. Interestingly, I understand air guns were popular sniper weapons during the Napoleonic period. And if anyone was caught with one on the battle field he was executed on the spot.

    I’m glad Kyle liked killing the enemy. I hope all American snipers do. It will help them be the best sniper they can be and that will help them kill more enemy so fewer Americans die.

    I am not so sure being glad Kyle liked killing anyone is a very healthy attitude. It is understandable that during war one can grow to hate one’s enemy, but enjoying the killing of another doesn’t seem right. As a matter of fact, I think it a very dangerous thing for anyone to enjoy killing. I like meat and that means cattle have to be slaughtered, but I don’t think it would be healthy for the butcher to get his jollies by killing a cow. Perhaps it is naive’, but I would hope snipers see what they do as a harsh reality of war, but not a pleasure.

    To kill the enemy might be necessary, certainly. One might be happy and relieved that one survived a battle and that by killing an enemy one saved oneself and/or one’s comrades, but to find killing enjoyable?? It certainly is not a Christian attitude and I ask you or anyone to show me where enjoying the killing of others is praised in the New Testament. And I am not saying Christians should not fight in a just war.

    I think it is just as understandable that a soldier can feel sadness after killing people. I knew a WWII fighter pilot who had, I believe 6 kills. He told me he didn’t think much about it at the time, but as he grew older, he thought about it much more seriously.

    And I saw Kyle on TV once when he was asked how he could do what he did. As I recall, he didn’t mention enjoying it, he said he had to get it in his mind that those he killed were animals, not quite human.

    • GHG says:

      I don’t think I did a good job of describing my thoughts, not unusual for me 🙂

      When I said I’m glad Kyle enjoyed killing the enemy, I didn’t mean that he enjoyed the act of killing. I meant that he enjoyed killing the enemy because they were the enemy. Enjoying killing for the sake of killing is evil. I don’t think Kyle was evil.

  28. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    My brother and I watched American Sniper today. Here’s a brief review. I won’t do anything fuller because there’s no upside to telling people there is no Santa Claus (although I believe there may be one).

    Trying to review American Sniper is like trying to review a XXX porn flick. It’s beside the point talking about story, acting, script. That’s not the point of such movies.

    And the point of American Sniper, at least in the eyes of the going public, is to feel good about America and to celebrate a hero. And with box office sales being what they are, the movie has served this purpose.

    But as a war movie, it’s mediocre, at best. This is not one I would watch a second time, for example, because the characters are dull and there really isn’t much of a story to speak of. And as much as I chide Loan Survivor for being an odd vehicle for heroism (since it shows little but a string of eff-ups), it did tell a story, and from a movie standpoint was far more engaging than American Sniper.

    Clint Eastwood is obviously being praised for this movie. But it’s a dull script, sometimes hardly intersecting which the book (which I just read and is fresh in my mind). Kyle himself is shown to be far more angst-filled and remorseful than his book ever does (if it does at all).

    With Kyle’s four tours of duty, his biography reads like a marathon. There are various stages, each tougher than the next. And many, if not most, of those small little humanizing incidents are gone from this movie. Kyle spent a lot of time, for instance, working with and sometimes leading (house to house) a platoon of Marines. As you might expect, and as Kyle pointed out, there isn’t necessarily a lot of trust between different branches of the military. But Kyle showed the Marines early and often that he respected who they were and would quickly win them over.

    In fact, there’s a great story in the book about some officer of another branch who warned Kyle “Don’t expect me to pull your ass out of there. I’m not risking any of my tanks.” After a few patrols with this commander’s soldiers and Marines (where Kyle was very successful in giving sniper support), he was called into this commander’s office. Kyle couldn’t remember doing anything wrong, so he wasn’t sure what was up. The commander says to him something like, “Forget what I said. If you ever get in a scrape, I’m sending every single god damn one of my tanks in after you.”

    There’s very little of this kind of humanizing element in American Sniper. Instead you get a scene here or there, very self-consciously constructed, that is meant to be a tear-jerker or make some loud patriotic point. Very ham-fisted writing, if you ask me. There are so many small incidents in his biography that would have been great on the screen. I wonder why so few made it there.

    Instead, the writers concocted a rivalry between a Muslim sniper (mentioned in just one paragraph in the book) and Kyle. Needless to say, this was a dull rivalry at best. (For a chilling tale of a sniper rivalry, see Ed Harris and Jude Law in “Enemy at the Gates.”)

    Having read Kyle’s book recently, I came away from this movie thinking that the movie failed in capturing any real sense of who Kyle was. Read the book. Forget this somewhat forgettable movie.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      That was a great anecdote about the commander who learned what Kyle’s services were worth.

      No Santa Claus? Big Brother Barry will be devastated, because that’s who he thinks he is. Of course, he decides who’s naughty or nice on the basis of their political views rather than their behavior, and the naughty ones receive a federal investigation rather than coal.

  29. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    And the point of American Sniper, at least in the eyes of the going public, is to feel good about America and to celebrate a hero

    I believe there is also a degree of thumbing the nose at Leftists. So attendance is also a bit political. At least for some % of those who watch it.

    (For a chilling tale of a sniper rivalry, see Ed Harris and Jude Law in “Enemy at the Gates.”)

    In the 1973 book on which the movie is based, the sniper rivalry was more than a paragraph, but it was only a small part of the whole book. This is understandable given the real subject is the Battle of Stalingrad.

    But movies have a way of screwing up most books on which they are based.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Mr. Kung, first off, I lied about having no further thoughts about this movie. But then I doubt anyone took me seriously in that regard.

      Another interesting thing that strikes me about “America Sniper” is that it could have been a zombie movie for all we know about the enemy. I don’t have a script in front of me, but I don’t know if they used the word, “Islamists,” even once. In Kyle’s book, “insurgent” is the word of choice. Whether they were “insurging” Swedish bikini models from Scandinavia, you’d never know it from the vague language.

      They are apparently showing this movie in Baghdad. And I can see why. If you take the rosy glow of feelgoodism off the projected desires of the movie goers, this is somewhat of a neutral film — at least enough so that if you were a Muslim you could watch this to see the heroics of your side. I don’t know what the body count is, but it seems fairly equal in this movie. From a completely objective standpoint, you can’t tell who is winning and certainly you can’t see any territory being taken for sure.

      And, really, that’s the problem with the whole “war on terror.” It’s one thing to disrupt the various cells and networks. That’s all good work. I have nothing to say against it in regards to what our intelligence services and special ops are doing. But in WWII, we de-Nazified Germany. It was the cause that had to be defeated. We took actual territory and held it physically and ideologically. (Patton rightly being reprimanded for downplaying the need to de-Nazify Germany.)

      So what do you do when “Islamism” is so wrapped up in “Islam” itself that you can make no distinction except in your own wishful-thinking head? We’re left playing this stupid shell game where we battle “insurgents” who are indistinguishable from regular Muslims except for the fact that they have a rifle or rocket launcher in their hand. Clear out the rats, you just get more.

      Also, there’s a bit of a chick-flick-ification of this film. My opinion is that Kyle came home not because his wife finally nagged him into submission (although she worked awful hard at that) but because he was physically and mentally spent after four tours of duty. And yet the movie kinda-sort frames it that he gave up his soldiering for his family. They wove this long-distance love-story into the movie. And I’m quite sure that Chris loved his wife. But he simply loved being a SEAL more. And I don’t damn him at all for that. But, of course, in movies today directors and writers can’t help but “Pearl Harbor” them a bit…if you remember that horrendous movie with Ben Affleck.

      I think for those wanting to find a hero in Kyle and to understand his life, read his book. Even the book isn’t necessarily gospel because bits were apparently redacted by the military. And who knows what is truth and what is fiction sometimes? But I think his story rings true in the overall. In the movie I found nothing special, although the last five minutes or so were very sad and patriotic. It seems to me that “The Hurt Locker” had much more going for it cinematically.

      Another good bit I would have put in the movie to give you the flavor for things was again about Kyle’s oversight sniping with the Marine and Army units who were going door-to-door clearing sections of a city. Normal training teaches the soldiers to hug the sides of the street. But at one point the soldiers working with Chris on one mission were so confident of his abilities, they would waltz right down the middle of the street telling him something like “No worries, we know you’ll get ’em.”

      The training part of the film was short-changed as well. Kyle himself admits that he wasn’t a particularly great shot. What he was good at was spotting the bad guys and finding good positions. One of the interesting parts of sniper training is that before you even pick up a gun, you go through a training course about getting into position without being seen. I think there are other pre-shooting aspects to this training as well, and Kyle was very good at it.

      Another running theme in the book — it’s almost comical — is how no matter where Kyle is, he gets the most kills. He tells of a time where he had set up on the top floor of a building with several other snipers. And one of them says something like, “Let me have your hole…you always seem to pick the best places.” So Kyle lets this other sniper have his spot. There were no more windows so Kyle had to drill or blast a hole in a wall. And, of course, as it turns out, Kyle gets the most kills by far of that group.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        One correction about our occupation policy in Iraq: since our initial enemy was Saddam Hussein and his Baathist policy, we did in fact seek to get rid of Baathism completely. In fact, we probably went too far, getting rid of low-level types who were Baathist out of necessity. (This was in fact Patton’s complete in Bavaria about denazification, and within certain limits he was right — though he may have taken his argument beyond those limits.)

        Incidentally, Erick Erickson has a nice piece on the movie, and especially the hatred of the liberal “ninnies” for the movie and Kyle. The link is:

        http://www.redstate.com/2015/01/29/the-ninnies-of-america/

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Count me amongst the ninnies in the sense that there is a problem that any modern anti-terrorism movie has to deal with. Regarding WWII or even Korea, we can point to territory held by us or our allies and taken from the barbarians. This is not generally true in “the war on terror.” Hell, our current Commander in Chief cannot even speak its name (nor could Bush who insisted that Islam was a “religion of peace”).

          I think Chris Kyle is a great guy. And he killed a lot of savages. But the overall context of this problem remains: No territory has been taken, no ideology pushed from the public square. We can’t, frankly, agree on who the savages are or what is savage. Instead all we have is a sort of disembodied time and place (such as Fallujah) where we can crown heroes and display villains. But we dare not look any deeper than the heroics of sweeping the next street because we might find anarchy and nihilism staring back at us.

          After all has been said and done, Afghanistan will remain Afghanistan. And Iraq and the surrounding region even now show that Kyle, while brave in a very American way, participated in something that proved as permanent as a fog. An Islamic state is gathering.

          I think my suspicions about this movie have been confirmed. It’s more of a blank slate upon which conservatives and others can infuse their pent-up emotions. But this movie, and necessarily so, is hardly “The Sands of Iwo Jima” because we can’t point to a place where our flag is standing and have had any sort of even semi-permanent victory. All we can do is glorify individual battles, which is more the domain of losers, not winners.

          Chris Kyle is the kind of righteous soldier you want to unleash on the enemy. But first we must have a command structure and civilian sensibility that understands our enemy. We do not yet understand our enemy. We can barely speak his name.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            You evidently didn’t read the article. The ninnies are those who reflexively hate Kyle for his service to the US (which you clearly aren’t), not those who have some other criticism of the movie.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              You evidently missed my point (and I did at least skim the article).

              I think this issue is more complex than just labeling one side a “ninny.” It’s interesting that this thread is titled “reality vs. Hollywood fantasy” because “American Sniper” is part of the fantasy. Oh, it’s not an anti-American fantasy by any means. But my point is that given the reality of the “war on terror” and our inability to make unambiguously material gains against it, we’re left infusing movies with our conservative mojo. We can get things to work out as we want in the movies but real life is something else.

  30. Timothy Lane says:

    There’s an article by Michael Totten (linked to on Hot Air) on the leftist attacks on Chris Kyle that fits in here. Totten, of course, is looking primarily at the real person rather than the movie, but that’s all right: Liberals hate American Sniper because they hate Chris Kyle, not vice versa. An interesting thought that came to me in reading it is that liberals would probably actually like the movie version of Kyle (who seems more concerned about his family than the real one) better than the real one. In the end, their hatred of America makes them hate Kyle, and therefore to hate anything that portrays him favorably. In any case, this is the link:

    http://www.city-journal.org/2015/bc0130mt.html

  31. Jerry Richardson says:

    Three cheers for Boomer Esiason! If more alumni would respond this way to left-leaning political correctness at a university, perhaps university officials would get the message: Political correctness violates free speech.

    [April 24, 2015] Current talk-show host and former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason says he is cutting off the University of Maryland, his alma mater, after it decided to cancel a screening of the movie “American Sniper.”

    Esiason tweeted that he is “never donating another dime to the U of MD” after learning about the cancellation of the film, which profiles the life of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.

    “I’m deeply saddened and insulted,” Esiason added. Chris Kyle, he emphasized, “is a HERO!”

    Esiason tweeted out an op-ed by Todd Starnes of Fox News explaining why the film was canceled at the University of Maryland.

    Starnes wrote that the school said it would postpone indefinitely an upcoming screening of the film after some Muslim students denounced it as “Islamophobic, racist, and nationalistic.”

    He quoted a petition launched by the Muslim Students Association denouncing “American Sniper.” It declared that the film “only perpetuates the spread of Islamophobia and is offensive to many Muslims around the world for good reason.”

    The movie “dehumanizes Muslim individuals, promotes the idea of senseless mass murder, and portrays negative and inaccurate stereotypes,” according to the MSA’s petition.

    “American Sniper” was scheduled to be seen May 6 and 7. On Wednesday, the university’s Student Entertainment Events panel said the film would be “postponed.”

    Boomer Esiason Rejects Alma Mater

    Where on the Internet do we go to find comments on this from any of the so-called “moderate Muslims” in the USA?

    • Timothy Lane says:

      That last question is a very good one, and I think we all know the answer. As for the personal boycott, I think conservatives do need to do more of this to counterattack against the liberals. It would be far better not to have any of these political boycotts, but that isn’t an option as long as militant liberals are engaged in war by other means (to paraphrase Clausewitz) against dissenters from their orthodoxy. If only one side fights the war, that side will win no matter how weak it might be relative to the other (which is in fact the problem with the war against jihadism).

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