Good or Bad for the Jews

"Good or Bad for the Jews"

Many years ago, and for many years, I would travel to Morocco to visit uncles, cousins, and my paternal grandmother. Some lived in Tangiers;...

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


I overcame my reluctance to go to a movie theater and went to an IMAX screen to see "Dunkirk" by Anglo-American Director Christopher Nolan. The last time I was in a movie theater was January 2015 for Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper."

OK. I was hesitant about seeing "Dunkirk."

I feared that political correctness would wreck that amazing story. I worried that we would have Idris Alba cast as Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Joan Collins as BEF General Lord Gort. Diploson (1), however, saw it and strongly recommended it; in addition, I read the review of the aerial action sequences in one of my favorite blogs (Chant du Depart) and if the exacting author of that fine and exceptionally beautiful blog can find them full of merit, that's good enough for me. So off I went with the Diplowife and Diploson (2).

Let me start by saying that it is a beautifully shot film. The aerial combat scenes, indeed, are exceptional; they provide a breathtaking approximation for us civilians of what must be the chaotic, all-aspect nature of old-time dogfighting. It was hard to believe that the film did not use lots of real Spitfires, Me-109s, Heinkles, etc. The scenes of attacks on shipping, too, evoke a special horror, and the director plays quite effectively on the fear we all (I think) have of drowning in a tight space. In these action scenes, Nolan has produced an amazing technical and artistic achievement that puts to shame a lot of the CGI to which we have become accustomed.

Overall, however, the film left me somewhat cold and distant.

First, there was a bit of the political correctness infection. I counted only two times that the word "German" was used; both were in a scene where British soldiers question a man as to whether he is German. The word "Enemy" is used throughout, including in the opening credits which explain that "The enemy have driven British and French forces . . . " No soldier ever says "Hun," or "Jerry," or "Kraut," or even the word "Nazi." Hitler is never mentioned. Just a faceless, almost sci-fi type enemy. Got to get that German market, eh?

More damning, however, there was no central character with which we could identify fully. One main character was a semi-cowardly, scheming soldier who would do almost anything to get home, including cutting in line and pulling off a variety of deceptions to get on board a rescue vessel. That might well have happened, but I suspect that was NOT the big story at Dunkirk. Maybe I am wrong--tell me, if so. The brave yachtsman played by the superb Mark Rylance might have been more fully developed, but he doesn't get to do much to interest us in his story. He, admittedly, takes part in some very well filmed rescue scenes, but, in the end, those are pretty standard Hollywood/Pinewood.

There are a couple of emotional scenes worth mentioning. One is when the mist clears off the beach at Dunkirk and we see a flotilla of small private craft massed to bring the boys (no girls on this beach) home. Another comes at the end when a soldier on the train going home reads aloud a portion of Churchill's "We Shall Never Surrender" speech to the Parliament after the successful evacuation of hundreds-of-thousands of men from the French coast. Made me think of the state of Britain and the West today, besieged as we are by a new invader, one welcomed by decades of Quisling officialdom. Could Churchill give that speech today without being accused of "hate" speech and xenophobia?

This is still not the definitive movie about Dunkirk. That operation, lest we forget, saved the West from the Nazis. If the BEF had been lost in France, it would be hard to imagine how Britain could have carried on. Churchill probably would have been replaced and the pressure on the new government to negotiate a settlement with Hitler would have been immense and likely irresistible. That's admittedly speculative "what if" history, but I think it is a likely scenario since without the United States the war could not have been won, but without Britain it would surely have been lost. Dunkirk, in my humble view, saved us all from that loss. It deserves a big accurate thorough screen treatment. I will keep looking; meanwhile, however, do go see Nolan's "Dunkirk" and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Bored With It All (Almost)

Having a good time with my Spanish relatives who will be leaving for home in a couple of days. We have done a lot of sightseeing. They also have taken over our kitchen and, frankly, produced some genuinely superb meals. I always am amazed and in awe of people who can walk into a kitchen, open a few cabinet doors, check the pantry and the refrigerator and--Presto!--whip up an awesome lunch or dinner. These folks can certainly do that! Amazing! I am sorry they will be going.

I have tuned into the news only off-and-on for the past couple of weeks.

I can tell from my more in-depth session today, that I haven't missed much of great interest.

The silly Russia election hack/campaign collusion story sputters along, with no more evidence of any wrong-doing now than several months ago. CNN continues to prove itself, perhaps, the most deranged "news" outlet in the Western world. Not just its broadcasts, but the tweets and other comments of its key personnel show that there is some serious mental issues afoot in the Atlanta HQS and throughout CNN's tattered empire. The level of ignorance of history, the world, and everything else is truly astounding. Most other "news" outlets are not far behind.

"Fact checking" seems to be a lost art.

I see that the GOP hopelessly complicated and destroyed its effort to "repeal and replace" the disastrous Obamacare. The mess is "inexplicable" unless one just concludes that once in Washington it is irrelevant whether the politician is Dem or Rep, he or she becomes of Washington, with the mentality of Washington.

I think the effort to dump Obamacare should have been a two-stage process: 1) repeal the damn thing;  and, 2) remove all laws and regulations that hamper the operation of a free market in the health insurance business. In other words, Congress should repeal Obamacare, and we, ordinary Americans, will take charge of replacing it with what we want.

Maybe there is still hope that this will happen? I don't know, just as I am also having serious doubts that they will ever get around to reforming our tax rates and stifling government regulations to allow something akin to a genuine free market in goods and services.

The media is also abuzz with new polls. One dubious poll showing that Trump's support is on the wane, and other showing that the population of most foreign countries is opposed (?) to a wall on the US-Mexico border. What? Should we have a poll to see if Americans are opposed to the wall between the ocean and parts of Holland? Should people in France ask us whether we want to see a bullet-proof glass barrier put around the Eiffel Tower? Who cares?

All very boring and inconsequential.

I will struggle to get more interested.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Democrats Russian into a Wall at 100 MPH

Just got back from the long drive from Vegas. Lots of traffic and heat, but I love the desert so it's OK.

I broke "even" in my bid at being a gambling man. By "even," of course, I mean that I didn't annihilate my kids' inheritance or hit my credit card limits. I found this crazy Chinese electronic game called either "Magic Crystals" or "Dragon's Eggs," or something akin to those tags. It has immense blinking and rotating lights, very loud music and special effects, a flying dragon, gold coins flashing and raining down, reels spinning, and an angry Chinese man who yells at you "Look up! Time for Orb selection!" It is an epileptic's nightmare, but I walked away with a couple hundred bucks to off-set my poker and blackjack losses. So, yes, "even," that's my story . . .

Got a chance to read some more about the latest media outburst on Russia! Bombshell! Smoking! Gun! Red! Handed!

It's! All! Nonsense!

You can go read Donald Trump, Jr.'s email chain on this episode and reach your own conclusions. I, however, started writing a piece while still in the hotel expressing some serious doubts about this latest story. I had gotten pretty far along, when I read a terrific American Spectator article (h/t to the great Instapundit) which eviscerates the whole story with a thoroughness and erudition that I cannot match.

I, therefore, deleted most of what I had written, and now refer my six readers to the "American Spectator" take-down of this latest story about "collusion." The AS article lends a lot of credence to the theory that Trump's campaign got set up by an elaborate Democratic Party/Obama administration dirty trick, e.g., the Obama DOJ let the attorney into the US with a waiver on her visa expressly to attend the meeting with Don, Jr.

Donald Trump, Jr., a political novice, got taken advantage of. I go back to what I stated before that the story is a,
convoluted, poorly sourced account of a mysterious meeting between Donald Trump, Jr., and a Russian attorney. The whole story makes no sense and upon reading it in the NYT, I kept asking, "And? What is the crime?"
It seems nothing transpired either way: Trump campaign got nothing, and Russia got nothing. There was no crime.

If, in fact, the Trump campaign had been colluding with the Russians would they have needed an email from British media hack Rob Goldstone alerting them to the Russian attorney's request for a meeting? (Yes, the same Goldstone apparently involved in the production of the lurid and fake "Trump Dossier.") Wouldn't there be other, more subtle channels to pass along information? Would the Russians have been so naive to have told Goldstone, as he claims in his emails, that they wanted Trump to win and were working to that end? Please . . .

It was a set-up.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What's Important

Leaving for Vegas tomorrow. Will be off the grid for a few days.

Couldn't resist commenting on what the media thinks important.

As I noted before (here). President Trump dominated the G20 leaders' meeting and the lead up to it. His speech in Poland was a great one. Nobody else on stage in Hamburg seemed to matter. He set the tone for a new age of American leadership. He didn't bow before the gods of climate change and confronted Putin while at the same time trying to get him on side in the fight against terror.

In other international news, ISIS is actually and for real this time on the run. Their forces in Iraq and Syria are being methodically ground into fine dust by a more aggressive and effective American policy of using a mix of special forces, air support, and the training of local forces to confront a conventional army such as the one ISIS sought to build. From all accounts I have read, the Iraqi forces proved very competent in the vicious house-to-house fighting in Mosul.

The alliance among Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the USA is being strengthened and revitalized as we confront the apparently growing NORK threat. I suspect that even Dear Leader (bis) must recognize, in his private moments, at least, that war with Trump's America is a losing proposition.

The Mad Maduro regime in Caracas is gurgling its death rattle as the consequences of socialism become so apparent that only the mainstream media can miss it. A sure sign that end times approach for Chavismo is the release from prison of prominent opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. When these sorts of regimes start freeing political prisoners it means they are desperately looking for a deal and want our help in reaching it. Watch.

These are major and positive developments so, of course, our media tsars are going back to the "RUSSIA!" story. Now they have come up with some convoluted, poorly sourced account of a mysterious meeting between Donald Trump, Jr., and a Russian attorney. The whole story makes no sense and upon reading it in the NYT, I kept asking, "And? What is the crime?"

The progs just won't give it a rest and us a break.  Was Russian meddling in our election worse and more consequential than that by Mexico? The answer is "No!" But that, apparently, will not draw a Special Prosecutor, or even a few NYT editorials.

The slots await!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Not So Innocent Abroad After All: President Trump Dominates Global Gathering

Aside from President Trump is there anybody else at the G20 in Hamburg--I mean aside from the fascists rioting in the streets? The man dominates gatherings like nobody else.

He started with a tremendous speech in Poland in which he unequivocally stated that Western Civilization is worth defending. Hard to believe that needs saying, but it does. Judging from the wacky prog reaction to his speech, President Trump demonstrated, yet again, that somebody big and powerful needs to speak up for Western Civilization. Magnificent speech delivered in a country, Poland, that knows full well what can happen when we don't respect borders and hold to the values of that Civilization. On a scale of 1-10, I give the man a 12.

By the way, I wonder what Putin thinks about the guy he supposedly "got elected"? Might have backed the wrong horse, eh? Does anybody imagine a President Hillary Clinton giving a speech like that in a place such as Poland? Not even Jules Verne could come up wit that scenario.

In Hamburg, it seems Trump is the host and the master-of-ceremonies. Nobody else seems to matter. Everything revolves around Trump as thousands of fascists riot in the streets and confirm everything Trump has said about the path that Europe has set for itself. In his meeting with Putin, according to the post meeting read-outs, Trump seems to have held his own and pressed Putin on election meddling and other nefarious Soviet Russian practices--this despite all sorts of predictions on CNN and MSNBC that Trump would not touch the election issue.

Bottom line: I trust Trump to represent US interests in dealing with Moscow, something I could not do with Obama.

Back to my tour guide duties. Off to Vegas on Monday night. Trying to catch my breath between excursions.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Happy 4th from Frisco

I continue my role as tour guide for my wife's European relatives.

Tonight we are in San Francisco. Flew in from San Diego (world's most beautiful and efficient airport) and got an Uber with a very funny and smart Indian driver. He gave an excellent account of why Hillary C lost the election ("very corrupt, lots of baggage, and a lousy campaigner") and thought we all should give Donald T a chance.

We quickly whisked into town thanks to very light holiday traffic, checked into our hotel at the Fisherman's Wharf, and went off to do tourist things. Huge crowds everywhere. Lots of European and Aussie tourists doing their best to help our balance of trade and make Trump happy. We had a mediocre but expensive lunch, which fortunately consisted of small portions so everything balanced out.

We just came back from watching the fireworks--excellent, despite the fog and cold breeze--and listening to lots of patriotic music booming out over the loudspeakers--yes, in San Francisco, so not all is lost. The anti-terror police presence was heavy, impressive, and most welcome.

Anyhow, more tourist things tomorrow. I think we are either taking a bus tour of the city or going on a boat to freeze in the Bay. One or the other.

I have been a bit lax in reading and listening to the news, and yet not only do I survive but so does the Republic. I see the President is dominating the news cycle again with his wrestling GIF. The news media is beclowning itself, once again, letting President Trump not only troll them but show them up for the weak, watery, half-melted snowflakes that they are. The man is a political genius, no doubt about it.

OK, not much more to say. I am folding up my new Apple laptop and hitting the sack.