Tuesday, October 30, 2007

“The Lives of Others”-Critique of a Critic

The lack of self-awareness on the Left seems at times at the very least childish, but more often fully pathological.
I recently had the pleasure of watching the winner of the best foreign-language film Oscar of 2006, “The Lives of Others”. It is a powerful, subtle, inspiring film. It shows the dark side of socialist East German life before the fall of the wall. Let me repeat, that is socialist East German life.
So I was somewhat surprised when I went back and read film critic turned Liberal propagandizer, Roger Ebert’s, review of the film. Oh, he enjoyed it well enough, but that is not my point. It was his comparison of the coercive, intrusive, totalitarian bent of the East German bureaucracy to the current Executive branch of American government that struck me as odd.
Here is his assessment:
But the movie is relevant today, as our government ignores habeas corpus, practices secret torture, and asks for the right to wiretap and eavesdrop on its citizens. Such tactics did not save East Germany; they destroyed it, by making it a country its most loyal citizens could no longer believe in.

First, I would like to remind Mr. Ebert that East Germany was a socialist/communist regime. A regime of the Left. A government built on the idea of comradery, of all for one, of fairness, and of equality. In short, a perfect Liberal utopia.
To compare the actions of such a regime to America today is simply ignorant. Americans have not lost there rights to habeas corpus, Mr Ebert. I would appreciate any proof you have otherwise. And what you would like to consider torture today, would have been seen as merely discomfort under the previous East German regime. Also, the only people who your hated Bush regime want to wiretap are those in contact with foreign terrorists. Let us, please, at least be honest.
Second, as long as we’re being honest, how can you but admit that attacks on the liberty of modern American citizens come almost always from the Left? Political correctness, college speech codes, the shouting down of Conservative speakers on college campuses, the threat of destruction of talk radio through the Fairness Doctrine, the silencing of debate with smears such as bigotry, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, chicken-hawk, and hater. All these attacks on free speech come from Left of center. Coercive smoking bans, seat belt and insurance laws, the latest attacks on fatty foods, the slow steady erosion of parental rights. These nanny state policies stem most always from the Left. The preference toward governmental larceny that is intrusive taxation is a Leftist ideal. As are threatened taxes on vehicle and home size, carbon usage, and certain types of foods. Our forefathers understood that taxation is most always an attack on personal liberty. Progressives seem to have forgotten this fact.
Third, and last, is the way in which the East German government aimed at controlling its populace. Where does the urge to control come from in today’s America? Possibly from those who believe they know how to run our lives better than we ourselves? Sounds like Leftist elitism to me. From those who fear our actions, if untempered, will lead to environmental destruction? That’s the greenie Left this time. From those who believe that fairness can be inflicted through progressive taxation? Yep, it’s the Left again.
The characters in “The Lives of Others” dealt with real governmental coersion and intrusiveness on a daily basis. Their liberties were undermined on a true and personal level, unlike Mr. Ebert’s paranoid conspiratorial fear of Bush. They lived under a regime that believed ‘the government governs best who governs the most’. Is that a value of the Right? Or rather the Left, Mr. Ebert? I think we both know the answer to that. But if you do not, then you are either lying to yourself or else you are impossibly ignorant.
I believe it was Thomas Jefferson who said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free,
it expects what never was and never will be.” Maybe sir, you should learn from that.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


It’s an odd day in October today.
The Cubs are coming home to play a meaningful game. In October.
But that’s not the most of it. It’s 85 degrees today just West of Chicago. In October.
When I was a boy we’d have called it Indian Summer. You couldn’t walk in the street, meet with your buddies, or go to the mall without someone saying, “Hey, how ‘bout this Indian Summer?” Today this statement is most probably politically incorrect. But the point here is, there is no more Indian Summer...it’s now known as Global Warming. Indian Summer has been stolen from me. By a bunch of hysterical zealots.
This got me to thinking. What else has the Left stolen from me? From my country? They squawk, “Give us our country back!” How about this, give me my country back. You know the one, the one that actually existed. Not the utopia the Left nostalgically remembers from the sixties, but the one that really was there. A country of individuals. A country that believed in freedom. Freedom from the nanny state government micro-management of lives. Even freedom as a beacon to the rest of the world. As a self evident right to all peoples.
It is sad where we’ve come to in America.
Last night on 20/20 they told the story of the two boys, 12 and thirteen year old boys, from Oregon arrested for sexual felonies arising from a childish game they called ‘slap butt day’. It involved horseplay and patting some girls on the rear end. Forget the girls were just as guilty, but these young boys were arrested, strip searched, and held for six days in Juvie hall. This is insane. In a sane world, the boys would have been given detention, asked to apologize, and that would have been the end of it. Today, if not for the uproar, they could have been marked as sexual predators for the rest of their lives. The point? Feminization has stolen common sense from our schools.
All this week Rush Limbaugh has been dealing with a smear launched by a Left wing group and happily picked up on by the main stream media. I have listened to Rush for many years now, and I heard the actual ‘phony soldier’ broadcast. Rush did not impugn our soldiers. And any honest clear thinking human who would actually listen to his show for even a short amount of time would have to admit he respects and appreciates our military and our soldiers. Ah but he is a ‘Conservative’ and to our friends in the media that means ‘bad’. Either without any further investigation or with willful complicity the news media jumped on the story. If not for his massive listener-ship and the power of Conservative talk radio and Fox News, this smear would have gone unanswered. Point here? The trust Americans once had in the news has been stolen by a now unquestionably partisan media.
I love movies. Better, I used to love movies. I am afraid to watch anything coming out of Hollywood these days. The Leftist slant spewing from that moral desert is simply relentless. Over the past few months, I have had to turn off movies that I had paid good money to see. Not because the acting was bad. Not because of the sex or the violence. But because of the blatant propagandist Leftist themes dancing across my Hi-Def screen. The movie “Perfect Stranger”, with Halle Berry, lasted all of five minutes in my DVD player. The Republicans-Evil, Liberals-Good message was all too clear mere seconds after the opening credits. Not even Clint Eastwood’s “Flags of Our Fathers” could add much to my carbon foot print. I had thought it would be a movie about American heroes in WWII, it turned out to be another Leftist attack on the American military.
And music today is just as bad. I apologetically admit that in the past I had been a fan of Bruce Springsteen, U2, and John Cougar...or whatever name he is using these days. I say “apologetically”, because I can not even bear to listen to these artists anymore. I used to, and still do, love their music. But I will not buy anything new that they produce, lest it insult my values, country, or way of life. Which brings me to the point...Leftist propaganda has stolen the arts from me.
This screed has gone on a little too long as the Cubs are coming on. Oh, the safe haven of sports. But wait, wasn’t Keith Olbermann on ESPN? Hope the above doesn’t qualify me for the “Worst Person in the World Award”.
Oh, well. Here’s wishing you a happy Indian Summer.