Emmanuel Macron: Behind the Rise

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Emmanuel Macron: Behind the Rise

**

 

President Obama’s legacy has been hopelessly distorted by partisanship.

The American Right has spun Obama into something that he never was or tried to be: a Progressive.

Ask a Republican, and he will tell you that the President was an anti-American Socialist Peacenik.

Amusingly, the American Left has decided to defend this Funhouse Mirror version of Obama that never really existed. Ask a Democrat, and she will try to defend his foreign policy on humanitarian grounds and defend his health care plan on Progressive grounds.

The reality is that Barak Obama was as moderate as a leader can be. Every action existed to maintain continuity.

During the heart of the banking crisis, he let political donors at Citigroup choose his cabinet. Sorry, Obama fans, but you can read it for yourself in the leaked email from Citi to John Podesta on Oct 8, 2008. The Obama team was tightly allied with Wall Street from day one.

Obama’s foreign policy was a clever continuation of Bush’s War on Terror. Using drone strikes and covert actions, Obama kept his foot on the pedal of relentless Middle East murder and meddling while reducing the number of American body bags to a more tolerable level.

The Affordable Care Act is little more than a scheme to try to keep the current for-profit system going a few more years by extorting money from young, healthy people who need cash way more than health insurance.

In the end, Obama achieved minimal change. The only question is whether his campaign slogan “Change” was always intended as a cynical irony.

 

Now France has its own Barak Obama. His name is Emmanuel Macron. Macron is young, good-looking, smart, and charismatic. And he’s the living embodiment of the status quo.

“Behind the Rise” is a worshipful documentary that follows his successful candidacy for President. The documentary urges us to fall in love with the man. And urges us not to think too much about what he represents.

Emmanuel Macron is the insider’s insider. First he was an investment banker at Rothschild & Co. More recently, he was Deputy Secretary-General under President Francois Hollande.

Last year, Macron bolted from Hollande’s Party and formed his own Party: En Marche! (which means Onward!). See what he did there? Macron fights tooth and nail to defend the status quo, but he does it under the slick banner of Progressivism.

While Marine Le Pen relentlessly focused on France’s need to leave the EU and reclaim its borders, Macron felt no need to discuss issues at all. Throughout the movie, he mostly just smiles, tries to look dashing, and accuses his opponent of bigotry.

Apparently, Macron was right. He beat Ms. Le Pen in a landslide. Le Pen is the better person, but she was not a great candidate. She did a lousy job of reaching out to France’s growing minority population.

The winner of the France’s next election will be the one who communicates that the choice is not between Christianity and Islam; it’s between the Globalists and the people.

The problems plaguing France are unemployment, unchecked borders, and uncontrolled terrorism. The ultimate victims are poor, peaceful young French Muslims who just want to assimilate and work. They need change more than anyone.

The same bland agreeable nature that made Macron an appealing candidate will make him entirely incapable of leading France through the tough road ahead.

America has already been through this. Even though Barak Obama remained personally popular, his party and the American Establishment itself lost their credibility during his Presidency.

Change is no longer a cynical slogan. It’s a desperate need. The Establishment won with Obama and Macron. But we won’t be fooled anymore.
Après Macron, le déluge.

 

Targeted: Exposing the Gun Control Agenda

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Targeted: Exposing the Gun Control Agenda

**

 

The NRA is right about gun control for the wrong reasons. And gun control advocates are wrong about gun control for all the right reasons.

Love them or loathe them, you have to hand it to them: the NRA is winning. If Tom Brady and Charlie Sheen had a baby and that baby grew up to be a lobbying group, that group would be the NRA.

The true extent of their victory was demonstrated every time President Obama made a speech about gun control. After every mass shooting – like clockwork – the President would implore America to finally crack down on legal weapons sales. Every impassioned speech had the same result: people rushed out to buy more guns.

In other words, the NRA reduced the most powerful man on earth into a mere gun-selling patsy.

How did the NRA become the Harlem Globetrotters and how did gun control advocates become the Washington Generals?

Cynical people will say that the NRA did it by paying off politicians. But that’s only half the story. The NRA needed to convince the public that gun control is bad and/or useless. And they did it using a brilliant combination of truth and lies.

“Targeted” is a big budget propaganda documentary written and directed by 22 year old Jesse Winton. He presents the topic with the wide-eyed earnestness of a college kid who just discovered politics.

I’m not saying that young Mr. Winton was paid by the NRA. But it is clear that he is a recent convert to their religion and his faith is unquestionable.

Gun control advocates have one message: restricting gun sales will save lives. Impressively, the NRA has even found a way to fight back on that seemingly unarguable point.

Jesse Winton tries to convince himself and the audience that fewer guns won’t lead to fewer shootings based on statistics from Chicago and Australia. I’m basically pro-NRA, but – good grief – this argument is absurd.

If you close every ski slope, America will have fewer broken legs. If you close every McDonald’s, America will have fewer Big Macs. And if you close every gun store, America will have fewer gun deaths and mass shootings. It IS that simple. I am sincerely impressed that the NRA has found a way to convince half of our country that 2 minus 1 equals 5.

Everyone is against mass shootings. But I came across an interesting statistic recently: 100% of people who were killed by guns were going to die of something else eventually.

Every person in human history died. Only a tiny percentage of them ever lived in freedom.

“Targeted” does a slightly better job of showing how essential gun rights are to our identity as a free people.

If you think we are such a free people that we have liberties to spare, you view the United States differently than I do. We are certainly freer than slaves, Soviets, and Saudis. But we are not as free as we should be.

The government in Washington has the power to draft a boy right out of high school, train him to kill, send him to Vietnam, and then force him to murder people based on nothing more than a Domino Theory. That is a proven fact. And gun control advocates want to give these maniacs more power over us? I do not.

I’d say that it is the feds – not the people – who have proven that they can’t be trusted with firearms. The day after the government voluntarily throws away all of its tanks and bombs and drones is the day that they have any place asking us to lay down our arms.

The NRA is full of it when it says that banning all guns wouldn’t make us a little safer.

However, I’m still on the NRA’s side.

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

-Benjamin Franklin.

 

Do Not Resist

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Do Not Resist

**

 

Have you or anyone you’ve ever known been a victim of random street violence? I didn’t think so.

Have you or anyone you’ve ever known been beaten up or shot by a police officer for no reason? Me, neither.

The job of America’s police officers is to keep us safe without harassing us too much in the process. All things considered, they are doing an amazing job.

Meanwhile, we keep finding ways to make their job more difficult.

The misguided war on drugs forces officers to go after drug offenders rather than actual evil-doers. The misguided Police Unions waste their time defending the few bad cops instead of fighting for better pay for the many good ones. The misguided prison system continues to transform poor young men into violent, unhirable ex-cons by the millions.

It almost feels as if our streets are so safe and our police are so effective that we need to invent new diabolical schemes to challenge them.

The documentary “Do Not Resist” introduces us to the latest horrible plan to try to sabotage America’s police forces: militarizing them.

A generation ago, police officers protected our streets with sedans and pistols. And that was pretty much it.

“Do Not Resist” shows that many police forces have undergone a major weapons upgrade. Now it isn’t uncommon for even rural police departments to own an arsenal of assault weapons, sniper rifles, tear gas, gas masks, riot gear, and armored vehicles that can withstand heavy fire and land mines.

How did this happen? The War on Terror has come home.

The militarization of America’s police was virtually inevitable as soon as the public bought into the concept that 9/11 was an act of war. As soon as we gave our consent to the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, we were also consenting to – and funding – the purchase of hundreds of billions of dollars of high tech military weaponry. Like the soldiers, much of that weaponry has come home.

“Do Not Resist” consists of long scenes of firsthand footage of police departments utilizing their new military toys in the field.

We see what happened on the ground during the Ferguson riots of 2014. And we follow a SWAT team on a few drug raids.

The conclusion I drew was that the police in Ferguson demonstrated an impressive amount of restraint. Using tear gas was probably unnecessary and counterproductive. But all in all it felt like the Ferguson cops resisted using deadly force at every turn. And, in the end, they pacified a town that could have unraveled into anarchy. That, to me, is the most important reason why we have a thin blue line to begin with.

The drug raids, on the other hand, are a shameful disgrace. The SWAT teams behave like a band of pillagers: busting up homes, breaking up families, and forfeiting cash just because they can.

Unlike the people who made “Do Not Resist,” though, I do not blame the cops for this. If the nincompoops in Washington and Montpelier simply legalized drugs, these awful raids would end tomorrow. Even in this wildly anti-cop documentary, it appears that the police are just doing their jobs. It is not their fault that their job is often to enforce foolish laws.

“Do Not Resist” is half right. In my estimation, America’s police were doing an outstanding job of keeping the peace before they became militarized and they are doing an outstanding job of keeping the peace since they have been militarized. So let’s just take away all of their heavy weaponry.

 

City 40

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City 40

**

 

Remember that time this spring when a Russian naval destroyer was patrolling the Gulf of Mexico, dangerously close to the US mainland? The Russians became furious when an American fighter pilot buzzed dangerously close to the Russian destroyer.

Of course you don’t remember it. It never happened. The real incident occurred when a Russian fighter aggressively buzzed a US naval destroyer in the Black Sea. Russia doesn’t routinely patrol in the water in our backyard. But we do it to them.

In the relationship between the United States and Russia, we are the aggressive bullies. Russia is a tireless enemy of militant Islam and it is located 5000 miles away from the continental United States. But the bone-headed Cold Warriors in the military establishment still find a way to pretend that Russia is a threat to us.

Yes, Russia still has a powerful nuclear arsenal. But that’s all the more reason to try to be friends with Vladimir Putin and let him do whatever he wants in Syria and the Ukraine. You know, the countries that are in his backyard; not ours.

Since the knuckleheads in Washington have been calling Russia our enemy for 70 straight years now, it’s hard for us to imagine that the Russian people are civilized westerners who are pretty much like us.

That’s why the documentary “City 40” is valuable for American viewers.

It shows that A. The Russians were and are deadly serious about their nuclear weapons program. And B. There is no sane reason why Russians have to be our enemies.

In the late 1940s, The Soviet Union founded its nuclear weapons program in a picturesque town in the Ural Mountains. It was simply called City 40. It wasn’t named. It wasn’t on any maps. No one was allowed to enter. And if residents left, they weren’t allowed to speak of the place.

Life for the people of City 40 was a series of huge trade-offs. On one hand, they got the pride of doing something important for their country. And Moscow made sure that City 40 had the best of everything – including sports arenas, entertainment venues, and stocked supermarket shelves. On the other hand, the residents were essentially prisoners. And the men who worked with nuclear material died young at a predictably disturbing rate.

While their situation seems alien to us, their response feels very American.

There are two main characters in “City 40”: a single mother Civil Rights Lawyer who is fighting the government to open the city and acknowledge the damage that it has done to its citizens. And there’s a jolly journalist who doesn’t see what the big deal is.

“I respect her,” the journalist says. “She is tough and brave. But she asked me the other day: ‘don’t you think that the barbed wire around the city violates your rights?’” The journalist gives a big belly laugh. “’I quoted Ronald Reagan: read my lips, it doesn’t violate my rights.’”

This argument between an uptight liberal and a contrarian conservative felt distinctly American (right down to the conservative using a George Bush quote and accidentally attributing it to Ronald Reagan).

In the end, I just can’t find any sane reason why we can’t be allies with these like-minded people.

Presidential candidate Jill Stein announced that she wants to bring every American troop back to the United States, in part to stop antagonizing foreign powers. Donald Trump has taken heat for his desire to achieve détente with Russia and forge a productive friendship with Vladimir Putin.

Basically, the only people left who think Russia is our enemy are close-minded Cold Warriors who are willing to risk thermonuclear annihilation rather than turn the page of history.

 

Snowden

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Snowden

**

 

Edward Snowden is a traitor because he promised to protect government secrets but he released them instead.”

 

This is undeniable logic.

But it ignores the bigger question. Why does the United States government have so many secrets?

I think I could run our entire foreign policy with one major change, one honest mission statement, and zero secrets.

The major change is that I would call all American military forces in Afghanistan, S Korea, Japan, Germany home to the United States where they belong. I would turn the Department of Defense into, you know, a defensive force.

(Jill Stein has already proposed this, by the way).

And here is my mission statement to all the peoples of the world:

“Greetings to every non-American citizen of earth! Good news. We will never invade, drone strike, or spy on you again. You can do whatever you want to whomever you want outside of our borders because it is obviously none of our business. All we ask is that you stay away from us.

Anyone who breaks this one rule and enters our borders uninvited will be killed. In the very unlikely event that your country succeeds in conquering and occupying ours, you will feel the wrath of non-stop insurrection from our millions of armed private citizens. This is America. We are eager to kill for no reason; heaven help you if you give us a reason. Good luck to all of you!”

If you think that my new American mission statement is ridiculous and terrible, then you must be reasonably pleased with the current state of affairs.

Our government invades who it wants, occupies who it wants, drops death from above on whomever it wants. And it spies on everyone.

The disappointingly mediocre Oliver Stone movie “Snowden” tells the story of a military man and young Conservative – Edward Snowden – who learned the ugly truth about the United States government.

Edward Snowden was a computer genius who quit the CIA for moral reasons. He rejoined the agency in 2009.

“Why did you change your mind?” an interviewer asks Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). “Obama,” Snowden replies wistfully. “I thought that he would change things. He didn’t.”

In his second stint working with the government, Edward Snowden learned that the NSA had brazenly expanded its data collection mandate – effectively tearing up the 4th Amendment.

The NSA had forced Verizon, AT&T and others to secretly comply with its Big Brother-esque metadata collection.

The basic concept, Oliver Stone explains, is that the NSA got a secret warrant to tap the phone calls, texts, emails, and social media pages of everyone suspected of wrong-doing – and all of their contacts. And all of their contacts’ contacts. And all of THEIR contacts’ contacts. Basically, the NSA was secretly spying on every human being with a phone or computer.

Edward Snowden concluded that this wasn’t really to combat terrorism. The War on Terror was only an excuse. The real mission of the NSA was complete social control of the citizens of earth.

“Snowden” is an important movie. But it’s no fun to watch. It’s mostly just a 2+ hour drama about a CIA man who emotionally neglects his amazing girlfriend.

In the end, I respect the point of view of people who call Edward Snowden a traitor for revealing the government’s secrets. In my opinion, though, it is our government that betrayed us by keeping all of these awful secrets to begin with.

Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party

 

 

Hillary’s America:

The Secret History of the Democratic Party

**

 

The most confusing letters in our language are (D) and (R).

When there is a (D) or an (R) next to a person’s name, it makes it impossible for otherwise smart people to make an accurate judgement of them. Or to even be able to hear what they are saying.

I mean, Red Sox fans hate the Yankees but they able to recognize that New York SS Didi Gregorius is just a regular guy with a strange name. And Yankee fans don’t hate Boston SS Xander Bogaerts personally. They understand that he’s just a regular guy with an even stranger name. And yet, Democrat voters really think every Republican is evil and vice versa.

It’s confounding to me that any Bernie Sanders supporter could actually vote for Hillary Clinton. They aren’t just different; they are on the opposite side of every important economic issue. You can’t claim to support a political revolution and then vote for the living embodiment of the status quo.

Meanwhile, it’s strange to hear that some George W. Bush-loving Republicans are actually warming up to Donald Trump. Trump’s anti-corporate, anti-Wall Street, anti-globalism, anti-regime-change, anti-imperialism, anti-free trade message is a total repudiation of the Bush legacy.

The truth is that Hillary Clinton is the ultimate Conservative establishment insider. And Donald Trump is the enemy of the establishment. Why do you think nearly every major Republican opposes Trump? Because they think he’s racist. Ha. No: it’s because Trump threatens their power and their money. But people can’t seem to see past the (D) and the (R) to grasp the truth.

“But, max, you are forgetting about social issues!” No, I’m not. I am intentionally ignoring them. Focusing on social issues is a clever scheme that politicians use to hide the fact that mainstream Republicans and Democrats are basically the same. A Republican President doesn’t have the power to overturn Roe v. Wade or ban gay marriage. And a Democrat President doesn’t have the power to outlaw Christianity or take away your guns.

Conservative documentarian Dinesh D’Souza agrees with me that Hillary Clinton is a money-hungry charlatan posing as a liberal. But, boy, he disagrees with me about my theory of guilt by party association.

In “Hillary’s America,” D’Souza tells an interesting history lesson about the Democratic Party. From its original rise to power under slaver and Native American-eradicator Andrew Jackson, the Democrats began as a party of white supremacy. The defenders of slavery were Democrats. The guys who established Jim Crow after Reconstruction were Democrats. Nathaniel Bedford Forest was the Founder of the Ku Klux Klan and a Democratic delegate.

This is all true. And also largely irrelevant to the current political situation.

Make no mistake: Hillary Clinton is a shocking, unforgivable racist against black people. That is because she and husband voted for and signed into law the trade bills that led to the closing of thousands of factories that were the livelihood of black families. That is because she continues – to this day – to cash checks written to her by the owners of privately run prisons. These prisons destroy the lives of people whose only crime was being a non-white man who couldn’t afford a great lawyer.

Dinesh D’Souza is the Michael Moore of the Right. He’s entertaining. He’s great at preaching to the converted. But he’s not super interested in uncovering actual truths.

The truth is that Hillary Clinton is a bad candidate and a bad person. But that is NOT because she has a (D) next to her name like Andrew Jackson.

Iranium

Iranium
**

“Death to America,” say the leaders of Iran, constantly.
I’m all for peace, love, and understanding, but even I am not hopeful that we will ever be friends with the current regime in Tehran.
The Ayatollahs came to power in 1979 as a direct backlash against the American-backed Shah. The Shiite extremists blamed the United States for almost turning Iran into a decadent, secular western society.
When America allied itself with Iran’s two main rivals in the region (Saudi Arabia and Israel) and invaded its two neighbors (Iraq and Afghanistan), we solidified the perception that the US was enemy number 1.
According to the pessimistic documentary “Iranium,” it is definitely the Islamic Republic of Iran that is the belligerent party in this new cold war. And the United States shouldn’t ever trust the Iranians or let our guard down.
The film reminds us that one of Ayatollah Khomeini’s first foreign policy actions was to storm the US embassy in Tehran and take 52 Americans hostage.
It also reminds us of the 1983 suicide bomb that killed 241 marines at a barracks in Beirut. The attack was masterminded by the Iran-sponsored militia group Hezbollah.
The most interesting claim that the movie makes is that the Iranian Constitution is unique – and uniquely evil. Supposedly, it doesn’t say a thing about the Persian people or the country itself. It is a global message of jihad. The purpose of the Islamic Republic is to spread the Shiite religion by force.
It is an ugly fact that there is a line item in Iran’s annual budget that specifically sets aside funding for international terrorism.
Up to this point, “Iranium” is educational and almost reasonable.
In the final chapter, the film gets apocalyptic and kooky. The documentarians argue that if Iran gets a nuclear weapon, it will be the end of the world – almost literally.
They claim that Iran will detonate a nuke in the atmosphere in the middle of the United States, creating a shock wave that will burn out every single electric device in the country. 9 in 10 Americans will be dead of starvation or disease within the year.
I refuse to even waste my time trying to refute this ludicrous paranoid nightmare fantasy. The actual worst case scenario is that Iran will drop one nuclear bomb and then we will promptly invade the country and annihilate the Islamic Republic.
The more probable scenario is that the Iranian people will get sick of their crappy cleric overlords before they even become a nuclear power and overthrow the regime themselves.
I agree that the current regime in Tehran is disgustingly backward and barbaric. But the Persian people themselves are not.
If you think that human history began in the late 1970s and that Barry Gibb and Donna Summer are Adam and Eve, I can see how you can make the mistake of thinking that the Persians are by nature intolerant.
If you do a little research, however, you’ll learn that the Islamic Republic is a brief, ugly exception to the rule of Persian pluralism. In the mid 6th Century BC, Zoroastrian Emperor Cyrus The Great proclaimed that all minority faiths in the Persian Empire must be treated with tolerance and respect.
In other words, there was slightly greater religious freedom in Persia 2600 years ago than there is in Mississippi today.
In conclusion, the idiots in Iran can say “Death to America” all they want. It is their reprehensible regime that will be dying soon.

Foxcatcher

Foxcatcher
**

One of the greatest accomplishments of the Revolutionary War is that it gave the founding fathers the opportunity to abolish titles of nobility.
Through the very warfare that freed it, however, America put itself under the thumb of a new nobility.
Not long after independence, an industrious French immigrant named Eleuthere Irenee du Pont founded a manufacturing plant near Wilmington, DE specializing in explosives. DuPont became the leading producer of gunpowder for the United States military. More than half of the gunpowder used by the Union Army in the Civil War was sold by DuPont.
The DuPonts amassed a vast fortune. And they made sure to keep the money in the family with a unique combination of nepotism, seclusion, and inbreeding.
The DuPonts became a dynasty as rich, eccentric, and powerful as any English nobles.
The overrated drama “Foxcatcher” tells the disturbing story of super rich felon John DuPont (Steve Carell).
In the mid 1980s, 50-ish John DuPont had done little with his life apart from publish a few books about birdwatching. Inspired by a love for America and a futile drive to impress his mother, DuPont began to invest heavily in Olympic training.
DuPont built a training facility on his family’s country estate in Valley Forge, PA. He handpicked star wresting brothers Mark and David Schultz (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo) to lead his ambitious quest for gold at the 1988 Olympics.
According to director Bennett Miller (“Capote,” “Moneyball”) John DuPont’s relationship with Mark Schultz was a little fatherly, and a little sexual, and entirely creepy.
The closest thing to a three dimensional character in “Foxcatcher” is John DuPont. Steve Carell’s DuPont is a portrait of emotional isolation and unquenched desires.
There’s a telling scene where a visibly drunk DuPont begins grappling with the guys on his team. The wrestlers let him win, cheer him on, and begin chanting his name.
DuPont wanted friendship and a physical connection. Instead he got empty applause from paid sycophants. The film helps you understand and even sympathize with the dreadful loneliness of the super rich.
The characters of Mark and David Schultz aren’t nearly as interesting. It’s as if Channing Tatum went to the set every morning and asked Bennett Miller what his motivation is today. And every morning, Miller replied: “look super buff, angry, and a little confused. Just like yesterday.”
Like in “Capote,” Miller only subtly alludes to his lead character’s homosexuality. I think it’s sad that Miller feels perfectly comfortable showing us violent gunplay but uncomfortable showing us even a hint of real complex human sexuality. I guess that’s American cinema in a nutshell.
Even though the movie is lacking, “Foxcatcher” does give us a glimpse into the life of America’s noblemen. And a warning to stay the heck away from them.