Monday Morning Movie Review: The Ghost Writer (2010)

Roman Polanksi is a sexual weirdo and a fugitive from justice, but, dang, he makes good movies.  A couple of weekends back I stumbled upon The Ghost Writer (2010) on Hulu, more evidence that the streaming service is upping its game.

The Ghost Writer is a product of the Bush Era, when Hollywood was obsessed with Bush Derangement Syndrome—a psychological condition akin to Trump Derangement Syndrome, but which now seems quaint and cute by comparison.  The plot involves a ghostwriter (Ewan McGregor) hired to punch-up the boring, windy memoirs of a Tony Blair-esque former British Prime Minister.  The former PM is facing prosecution for war crimes for his alleged role in illegally torturing terrorists during the War on Terror, and while he is considered a “world-historical” figure, his pro-war stance while PM has made him deeply unpopular.

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TBT: Out of Control Feds

Ah, 2019—when the disaster of the 2020 presidential theft was a distant possibility, and long before Lord COVID descended from his Chinese chemical lab to sow destruction upon us all.  Back, then, our greatest concern was incompetent government bureaucrats running us over, then ticketing us for the pleasure.

That’s the story behind this post, which discusses Jim Treacher’s near-death encounter with a federal SUV, and the efforts of the feds to shift the blame to Teacher, rather than the federal agent who mowed him down.

Well, they can flatten our dreams, our economic prospects, and our freedom, but they can never flatten our hope.  Here is 23 March 2019’s “Out of Control Feds“:

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TBT: Lazy Sunday – APR Pieces

This coming Sunday’s edition of Lazy Sunday will mark the fiftieth installment of that venerable tradition (also, yesterday’s post marked the 500th post of all-time for the blog), so I thought I’d take a look back to the very first one, from 24 February 2019.

The first Lazy Sunday was aptly titled.  As I wrote at the time, I was “phoning in” the post; thus, the necessitous title for the unplanned series.

The posts looked back to my days writing and contributing to American Patriot Radio, an online streaming station that never quite took off, despite lofty plans and an impressive roster of hosts.  It seems some folks still participate in its chatroom, but it has that weird feeling of a place that no one really visits anymore, except for a handful of cranks.

But I digress.  I wrote some pretty good material (I think) for the website, and I hate to see it lost to the cranks.  So aside from celebrating the approaching fiftieth Lazy Sunday, I figured this would be a good way to draw attention back to those classic posts.  I also can’t help but appreciate the idea of a “reblog within a reblog.”

With that, here is the first “Lazy Sunday – APR Pieces“:

It’s been a busy weekend, so I’m very far behind on today’s post (about twelve hours late!).  That said, I’m worn out, so I’m phoning in this Sunday’s post.

I used to be associated with an online radio station, American Patriot Radio, in a mild way:  I would occasionally fill-in for the station’s most popular host, and I contributed some pieces for the site’s blog.

There’s no good way to navigate to these pieces on the site now, but they are, remarkably, still there.  I do not know the current status of the station, but while seeking out these pieces, I heard some streaming audio, so it may still be active, or it may be recycling old content.

Regardless, I thought it would be worthwhile to link to my writings there, as they reflect the heady days of early 2017, when the young Trump presidency seemed full of promise, and it looked as though populist uprisings would continue all over the globe.

Enjoy this grab-bag/impromptu archive of TPP submissions to APR.

8 May 2017 – “A Disheartening, but Expected, Defeat” (about the defeat of National Front candidate Marine Le Pen to France’s current president, Emmanuel Macron): https://americanpatriotradio.com/2017/05/08/a-disheartening-but-expected-defeat/

8 May 2017 – “Pat Buchanan’s America” (about the impact of Pat Buchanan’s economic and foreign policy thought on the Trump ascendancy): https://americanpatriotradio.com/2017/05/08/pat-buchanans-america/

9 May 2017 – “A New Conservatism?” (a rumination on the future of conservatism, and the possibility of a new “fusionism” to include Trumpism): https://americanpatriotradio.com/2017/05/09/a-new-conservatism/

10 May 2017 – “Comey-tose” (about the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, as well as a brief discussion of my frustration with National Review‘s hand-wringing over decorum):  https://americanpatriotradio.com/2017/05/10/comey-tose/

Enjoy this self-indulgent blast from the recent past.

–TPP

TBT: Mueller Probe Complete, Trump Vindicated

Remember when the Mueller probe ended, then Robert Mueller gave bumbling, incoherent testimony to Congress?  For two years the Democrats engaged in major psychological projection, accusing President Trump of malfeasance akin to what Secretary Hillary Clinton actually committed.  The Deep State scrambled to overthrow the duly elected President of the United States.

After a brief reprieve—even Democrats have to take time off from playing Marxists to splash about at Martha’s Vineyard during the summer months—the progressives are at it again with a ginned up impeachment inquiry.  Trump talked to the new Ukrainian president and mentioned Joe Biden’s son.  GASP!  POTUS is colluding with scary Eastern Europeans to get dirt on a political opponent!

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May We Never Forget

Today’s Number of the Day from pollster Scott Rasmussen is a poignant 9/11 memorial:  204 New York City firefighters have died due to illnesses from that fateful day.  That’s in addition to the 343 NYFD firefighters who gave their lives on September 11, 2001 (the NYFD maintains a list of “line of duty deaths” dating back to 1865; deaths 809 through 1151 were the result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks).  Rasmussen also notes that 2977 people died in the attacks.

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Clinton Body Count Rising?

The “suicide” of infamous pedophile and child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein has shattered whatever illusion remained that Deep State isn’t entirely in control of our politics and culture.  What’s remarkable is that it seems that a large number of Americans don’t buy the suicide-by-hanging story, and there are serious reasons to doubt it.

While Epstein came off of suicide watch at the end of July, he was still under heavy surveillance while in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correction Center.  Allegedly, inmates there are under CCTV surveillance constantly, even as they shower, and are confined to their cells for 23-hours a day.

An anonymous former inmate of the MCC suggests the paper-quality sheets are too fragile to hang a 200-pound man, and that the ceilings are too low for a tall man like Epstein to hang himself, anyway.

The far likelier explanation is that Epstein was murdered.

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Washington’s Hardball Model

History blogger SheafferHistorianAZ at Practically Historical shares a piece from American history blog Almost Chosen People containing letters exchanged between General George Washington and British General Thomas Gage regarding the mistreatment of American POWs in British camps.  In the exchange, Washington warns Gage that British prisoners will be treated the same way American prisoners are, so that if the abuse of Americans continued, British POWs would endure the same mistreatment.

Washington made good on his promise for a short period, then resumed normal, humane treatment of POWs under his care.  Washington was known for his magnanimity, but “had his limits,” as Almost Chosen writes.

This bit of American history caught my eye because it seemed germane to yesterday’s post about Attorney General William Barr and the threat of the Deep State.  Such serendipitous connections are almost routine, I’ve learned, the more I read and blog.

What does one have to do with the other?  Washington here gave us an excellent example of how President Trump and AG Barr can approach the difficult task of holding Deep State traitors accountable, while avoiding a total breakdown into institutional civil war.

In essence:  treat your foes mercifully—until and unless they violate the rules of gentlemanly engagement.  The Left long ago ceased to follow any such restraint, and the Right’s major mistake is that, rather than combating it, we’ve attempted to operate within the Left’s increasingly narrow, insanity-driven frame.

Instead, the Right should hit back—and hard—against the Deep State.  Make a quick, decisive, coordinated strike and bring criminal charges against Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok.  Prosecute them and their ilk swiftly, and make noise about investigating the Clinton Foundation under RICO jurisdiction.  President Trump could imply that such investigations and probes will cease once the Left decides to treat conservatives fairly again.

Such a “Washington Model” of measured-but-decisive action against the Deep State would send a powerful, unmistakable message to the swamp critters in D.C. and the Democratic Party:  play by the rules of “loyal opposition,” treat your opponents with dignity, or endure a dose of your own medicine.

We’ve depended on empty appeals to “decorum” and “taking the high road” for too long.  We shouldn’t swing wildly like a drunken pugilist, but should strike devastating blows on critical targets.  Drain the Swamp!

Barr and the Deep State

Blogger photog at Orion’s Cold Fire has an excellent analysis of Attorney General Bill Barr’s handling of the Mueller Report, as well as an hysterical Congress’s insistence that he somehow lied about the Mueller Report because his summary didn’t adequately convey the tone of the report.  Apparently, the Democrats consider an accurate, straightforward summary constitutes “lying to Congress” because Barr didn’t include Mueller’s anti-Trump rhetoric.

The Democrats are grasping at straws here.  They’ve lost the collusion battle, which was supposed to be their Waterloo against President Trump.  Instead, it’s turned into their Gallipoli (and Trump’s Battle of Tours).  Their panic is palpable, so now they’re resorting to the “Trump-is-a-meanie-and-unpresidential” line, and that the president’s angry outbursts at news of the probe suggests he was up to no good.

Foolishness.  As AG Barr noted, you’d be mad, too, if you’d been accused of a crime you didn’t commit, and one that would hobble your presidency in its infancy.  The Democrats are essentially attacking President Trump for being a normal human being—all the more reason to oppose the Democrats at every turn.

photog’s piece is a reevaluation of Barr in the wake of his strong resistance to the Democrats and their perfidy.  In an earlier essay, photog argued that Barr was likely another swamp creature, and would wilt under the heat of his Deep State peers.

In the wake of his Senate testimony, however, that no longer seems likely.  The question now, as photog writes, is whether or not Barr will strike back against the Deep State and go after McCabe, et. al.—or even the Clinton crime family.

photog poses another interesting question:  are McCabe and Peter Strzok “fall guys” for the Deep State, the public figures willing to fall on their swords to save the whole rotten apparatus?  It’s an intriguing notion, and one I had not considered.

If they aren’t stooges, however, the implications are staggering.  To quote photog at length:

If McCabe turns state’s evidence then Comey, at least, is dead meat.  And after watching Jim Comey over the last few years I would be very surprised if he didn’t roll over and give up everyone involved up to and including his boss, Loretta Lynch.  After that, who knows?  Could these people be rolled up all the way to Obama.  I guess it’s possible.  But a thing that has to be remembered is that just because something can be done doesn’t mean it should be.  Convicting a former Attorney General of the United States of conspiracy to undermine the election of a U. S. President would be tantamount to starting a civil war between the left and right.  And I’m not saying it would be unjustified.  Basically, what has been done is treason.  But the consequences of pursuing this all the way will not be without severe consequences for both sides.

Those are some sobering conclusions.  What would it mean for the health of the body politic and our political system if we start imprisoning former AGs—and higher?  If legitimate crimes have been committed, they need to come to light and be prosecuted, but would doing so begin a treacherous round of tit-for-tat?

I understand photog’s concern here—I share it—but the lesson of recent political history seems to be that the Left will do whatever it takes to win, damn the consequences.  In a healthy system, such high crimes would be unfortunate and shocking, but they could be prosecuted fairly.  In our current system—the kind that enables such corruption and abuse of power—the Democrats would just be biding their time until they could purge the government of any remaining dissident patriots.

Just look at the purging of conservative and Dissident Right voices from the public square.  Facebook purged major Dissident Right figures, some of whom merely talked with Gavin McInnes outside of Facebook!  McInnes says some outrageous (and hilarious) stuff, but he’s not a hatemonger.  The Proud Boys are not a white supremacist group, much less a terrorist organization.  Yet claiming that Western Civilization is the best and that women are usually happier having children (but, of course, are free to live their lives as they choose) is somehow “hate.”  Yeesh!

Take some time this afternoon to read through photog’s reassessment of Barr.  It’s nuanced and thoughtful, and poses some interesting questions.  Here’s hoping Barr takes the fight to the Deep State, and begins rolling back the Deep State.

Lazy Sunday VII: The Deep State

It’s been a good weekend, and today’s post marks another milestone in this blog’s brief history:  fifteen weeks of consecutive daily posts.  After a change of pace last Sunday, I’m back to Lazy Sunday. This week’s edition looks back at posts about the administrative Deep State that exists in the federal government.  Indeed, it’s an unholy alliance of D.C. insiders, corporate elites, academic Leftists, and social justice warriors, all arrayed against President Trump and his agenda.

The Deep State is, as I’ve written, very real.  We can no longer trust judges to dispassionately rule on or uphold the Constitution; bureaucrats to execute faithfully the president’s orders; or government officials to act in the best interest of the American people.  Further, we cannot trust our elites to even abide by the outcome of a fair, free election.  The long, expensive Mueller probe represented a vague, politically-motivated witch hunt, all designed to de-legitimize President Trump.  That our unelected intelligence agencies played an active role in such treasonous activity further highlights the dire situation in which the Republic finds itself.

Indeed, we’ve entered into a period of praetorian rule in the United States.  No longer is the Constitution respected.  If the people make the “wrong” choice for president, then the full apparatus of the Swamp will swing into action to “correct” the wrongthink of the plebes.  Most Americans do not appreciate how far we’ve passed through the looking glass.  I would urge President Trump to restructure radically our intelligence agencies, making them accountable to elected officials and, therefore, the American people.

These posts detail the perfidy and duplicity of the Deep State.  They only scratch the surface.

1.) “Fictitious Frogs and Bureaucratic Despotism” – this piece examines, in brief, the excesses and abuses of federal agencies that have been delegated lawmaking powers.  Weak-willed Congress’s have readily given up their precious legislative powers, and out-of-control justices have approved this unconstitutional, cowardly activity.  The results have been both absurd and catastrophic, particularly with everyone’s favorite government-agency-to-hate, the Environmental Protection Agency.

2.) “The Deep State is Real – Silent Coup Attempt and Andrew McCabe” – disgraced Deputy Attorney General was going around bragging about his attempt to lead a 25th Amendment removal of President Trump from office, premised on the ridiculous notion—unfortunately axiomatic among Leftists—that the president is insane.  Despite no evidence to suggest as much, McCabe, like other Deep States progressives, merely wanted to remove the president from office.  Of course, to progressives, anyone who disagrees with them is either mentally ill or evil.

3.) “The Deep State is Real, Part II: US Ambassadors and DOJ Conspired Against Trump” – this post kicked off a few days of Deep State reflections.  It’s a “must-read,” as I explain how the notorious Steele dossier, a fake document used to obtain a FISA warrant to wiretap the Trump campaign phones, was commissioned by the Clinton campaign.  With all the claims of “Russian collusion” levied at President Trump, it’s an absurd example of projection:  Clinton was the one “colluding” with a foreign agent (Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier, is a former British spy) to influence the outcome of an American election—and using the backchannels of state power to eavesdrop on an innocent man’s presidential campaign.  That’s far more sinister than anything the Nixon campaign did in 1972 (at least the Committee to Re-Elect the President kept the Watergate burglary domestic).  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should be in federal prison.

4.) “Mueller Probe Complete, Trump Vindicated” – remarkably, even Robert Mueller couldn’t straight-up lie about President Trump.  I’ll end this Lazy Sunday on a positive note:  President Trump was cleared of any “collusion” with Russia (keep in mind, “collusion” isn’t even a legal term, and is vague to the point of meaninglessness, which is the point:  anyone can read into the phrase “Russian collusion” whatever dark fantasies they want).  Now that the probe is done, President Trump should act with all haste to DRAIN THE SWAMP!

Happy Sunday.  Rest up—we’ve got to take back America!

Other Lazy Sunday Posts: