The complete Billy Jack

Featured image Whatever happened to Billy Jack (the character) and Billy Jack (the movie)? As TCM host Ben Mankiewicz explained last night, the movie was a hugely profitable hit upon its release in 1971 and its rerelease in 1973. You’d think it might be ripe for a remake in the pathetic dream factory churning out the dreck today. TCM retrieved Tom Laughlin’s entire Billy Jack oeuvre from its archives. All told, we »

Sammy Davis: I’ve Gotta Be Me

Featured image I don’t recall a time when Sammy Davis, Jr. was not a celebrity along with the rest of the Rat Pack. Although I learned as a teenager that he had overcome obstacles galore on his way to the top — I read his memorable autobiography, Yes, I Can — the story stopped with his marriage to May Britt, and he left out a lot of the pre-Britt story in any »

Et Tu, Taylor?

Featured image I have long admired Taylor Swift. Beginning as a teenager, she has been a positive influence on a generation of fans, mostly young girls. My three daughters have all been major fans, and I enjoy her music. Or I did, anyway, until she abandoned her country roots for the more boring world of pop. All together, I would guess my daughters have seen Swift in concert at least ten times. »

Misunderstanding the world

Featured image Rukmini Callimachi is an outstanding reporter for the New York Times. She lets her story tell itself in “A Dream Ended on a Mountain Road: The Cyclists and the ISIS Militants.” Bruce Bawer expands on and explicates Callimachi’s story in the PJ Media column “Death by entitlement.” Biking in far-flung places around the world, the young couple portrayed in Callimachi’s story are murdered by ISIS terrorists who mow them down »

A note on “Invisible Man”

Featured image I just finished reading Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison for the first time. I found it to be a challenging, gripping, entertaining novel of the first rank that I want to commend to your attention. Published in 1952, it remains an incredibly timely novel. It lends further support to the contrarian case Jeffrey Hart makes in When the Going Was Good! that the 1950’s represented a high-water mark in American »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll finds no limits in THE THIRD RAIL. She writes: For decades now, we have heard that the “third rail” in politics – untouchable without inviting electrocution – was the Social Security System. And now a different sort of Third Rail has been grabbed. The lovely daughter of the President of the United States, communing with her beautiful baby, no less, is called a “feckless c*nt” by another woman. »

How to watch a movie

Featured image We need help learning how to watch a movie just as we do learning how to read a newspaper or a book. In its short history the art of film presents a wealth of riches. It’s easy to enjoy a good movie, but appreciating the art requires an education. Titus Techera has arrived to lend us an eye in a series of movie podcasts that celebrated their first anniversary with »

Going Postal Revisited

Featured image Anyone remember the phrase “going postal”? It arose from the spate in incidents starting in the 1980s when disgruntled former postal workers, in at least 11 separate incidents, returned to a postal facility and shot up the place, killing 35 people according to Wikipedia. The phrase became common currently for workplace violence which spread beyond post offices, and sometimes the phrase was used casually, as in “I just might go »

Does anybody really know what time it is? (Minnesota edition)

Featured image Courtesy of the Democrats’ media adjunct, Minnesota state representative Ilhan Omar must be the most famous such officeholder in the history of the universe. Omar is the first Somali elected to our state legislature; she touts herself as “the highest-elected Somali-American public official in the United States.” That’s not too high. Riding the Democrats’ look at me identity politics, however, she’s going places. See, for example, the 11-minute video Omar »

The other summit

Featured image The New York Post brings a keen nose for news, a deep knowledge of popular culture and a devilish sense of humor to what looks like it might be the front page of tomorrow’s paper (?) that has somehow mysteriously materialized on the Drudge Report. Drudge links to the Post story by Marisa Schultz and Nikki Schwab on the Post’s Page Six section. It’s surely not the biggest news of »

The Final Year, Thank God

Featured image Now playing on HBO is Greg Barker’s documentary The Final Year chronicling President Obama’s foreign-policy team during Obama’s last year in office. It gives us a fly-on-the-wall view of John Kerry, Samantha Power, and Ben Rhodes doing their job through election day and slightly beyond. I watched it last night. Only 90 minutes long, the film began to grate on me as we rounded the corner into minute 2. Yet »

The Obamas move upstream

Featured image Barack Obama wasn’t much of a president. His signature accomplishment may turn out to be paving the way for Donald Trump. Obama isn’t the genius his boosters (with his encouragement) made him out to be, either. I don’t consider him a first rate or deep thinker. If you disagree, identify one of his deep thoughts. Claiming to be on “the right side of history” doesn’t count. Neither does “let’s funnel »

What Kanye can’t do

Featured image Bill Whittle asserts that there is no middle ground on Kanye West: you either love him or loathe him. I think the middle ground may by “don’t know who he is.” In any event, I listened and learned to Bill Whittle explicating the deep meaning of the Kanye kerfuffle in “Kanye West: Racist” (video below). At right around 3:06 Bill reveals a bombshell that would have prompted me to do »

The Latest Battle In the Statue Wars: Stephen Foster

Featured image A famous statue of Stephen Foster, often referred to as the father of American music, has stood in Pittsburgh for more than 100 years. (Foster was a native of Pennsylvania.) It was sculpted by Italian emigre Giuseppe Moretti: Today Moretti’s statue of Foster was carted away by Pittsburgh authorities: A 118-year-old statue of the “Oh! Susanna” songwriter was removed from a Pittsburgh park Thursday after criticism that the work is »

Chance the Rapper Weighs In

Featured image Candace Owens may have lit the fire that burns down the liberal order. Hyperbolic? No doubt. But one of America’s most respected conservatives emailed a couple of days ago: I think we have all had a big boost in our struggles by Kanye West’s outreach to Candace Owens (I see that John has already invited Candace to Minnesota – a big coup!). Because of West’s influence in the culture and »

How did you know?

Featured image After our Spring blizzard let up last Sunday, we escaped from the house to see the film Beirut. We had seen the preview and it looked promising. Starring Jon Hamm, directed by Brad Anderson, written by Tony Gilroy, the film featured a story recalling the 1984 kidnapping of CIA Lebanon station chief William Buckley by Hezbollah operatives. The film has received a panoply of favorable reviews. It was obviously a »

Dietetically incorrect after six years

Featured image I’ve struggled with my weight ever since I quit smoking thirty-five years ago, going up and down 30 pounds several times. All I can tell you is that it’s a helluva lot easier going up than it is coming down, though you probably already knew that. Six years ago I picked up on the cues offered occasionally by Glenn Reynolds to the work of science writer Gary Taubes. Glenn had »