Day: August 28, 2018

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Teen Suits Up As Varsity Football Team's First Female Player…


(CBSDFW.COM) – When Madi Martin warmed up for a scrimmage at Arlington High School Friday night, she didn’t want to think about breaking ground this year as the first girl on the Southlake Carroll varsity football team.

She just wanted to focus on the game.

“I’m pumped. I’m ready to go,” she said with a smile.

She admitted she feels added pressure to perform as the only girl on the team.

girl High School Teen Suits Up As Teams First Female Football Player

Madi Martin (CBS11)

If she’s nervous, though, head football coach Riley Dodge said it doesn’t show.

“We’re thrilled to have her,” he said, praising her skills and consistency.

Martin grew up curious about what it would be like to take the field.

‘Who Steals A Cheese Grater?’: Meth Use Blamed For Strange Crime Spree

“I’ve always loved football, always been a fan of it… and I was thinking about it, and I was like, well, why couldn’t I?” she said.

Her father, Bret Martin, said it never occurred to him to push his daughters toward a traditionally male game.

“I never saw this coming, never saw it coming,” he said. “It was ribbons and bows and ponytails.”

When Madi was in middle school, her parents were surprised to learn from the boys’ football coach that she’d asked about joining the team.

She started as a kicker. Two years later, she was playing cornerback and wide receiver.

Her father remembers watching her tackle an opponent during an eighth-grade game.

“She went and put her head right in his chest and took him down, and I thought to myself, ‘That’s my girl!’” he said.

After ninth grade, she quit football to focus on soccer, playing starting goalkeeper for the girls’ team for the last two years.

Now in her senior year, she decided to give the game another go.

“One of the third or fourth days I was on the job, when I was trying to figure out up from down, Madi came in,” said Dodge.

Despite some initial surprise over her interest in joining the varsity team, he said her talent was clear. “Regardless of if she’s a boy or girl, she’s a great player,” he said.

Madi sensed some resistance at first from her teammates.

“Some people were like, ‘Why is this happening? Why does she want to do this?’” she said. “Now they’re my bros, and we’re good now.”

The team has had to make some adjustments.

“Locker rooms, obviously,” said Madi. She gets dressed and ready on her own.

“For away games, I’ll just show up dressed,” she said.

Madi’s father also shared the story of when Coach Dodge first addressed the team as a whole.

“He said, ‘We’re going take care of our boys,’” Bret Martin said. “And, about half way through his speech, he goes ‘guys and girls’ and I could tell for one second he thought of Madi.

Martin insists he doesn’t care about ‘political correctness’ for the sake of his daughter.

“She can hold her own in any situation,” he said.

Madi plans to prove that with the football season beginning next week.

While she doesn’t want the extra attention to distract her, she does hope other girls who see her realize they can join the game, too.

“I think it’ll plant a seed,” she said.



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Fate of 22 grizzly bears up to judge's decision. Should trophy hunters be allowed to kill?



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Of Death and Politics


How far does a president have to go in acknowledging the death of a political luminary?  Does the deceased deserve the same level of condolence if he was a bona fide political enemy of the president versus an ally?  We know that when Republicans die, Democrats and their supporters in the Democrat-Media-Propaganda Complex often celebrate their demise.  They do not show any restraint in their postmortem comments because they feel justified in stating publicly that the world is now better off and no longer contaminated by a conservative politician who was pro-wall, anti-illegal immigration, pro-gun, or anti-abortion.  If the dearly departed was a religious Christian, he is openly mocked.  Republicans are generally regarded as such abominations to the left-wing agenda and societal advancement that their deaths are seen as celebrations not for the life they led, but for the lives in this country they can no longer soil. 

There is no denying that President Trump and Senator McCain were oil and vinegar, cobra and mongoose, with an unfiltered and palpable disdain for one another.  It doesn’t matter who lobbed the initiating insult.  They equally exchanged nasty barbs and damaging criticisms. 

Trump had several choices: (1) say nothing about Senator McCain’s passing, for which he would be endlessly bludgeoned by the press and punditry; (2) extol the virtues of the deceased in a manner clearly at odds with their relationship and invite endless bludgeoning from the press and punditry for being a hypocrite; or (3) pay polite and respectful condolences to the family, honor his death holding the flag at half-mast, and leave the praise-filled eulogies to those who could do so sincerely…and be bludgeoned in the punditry and press because he didn’t deliver enough praise or keep the flag at half-mast long enough.  In case you don’t know it, the Democrat-Media-Propaganda Complex is hysterical about Trump’s response to John McCain’s death. 

The offending Trump tweet that has been the source of so much ire on the part of the punditry and press reads as follows: “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain.  Our hearts and prayers are with you!”  The flag at his Virginia golf course was lowered to half-mast in Senator McCain’s honor, as was the flag at the White House.  Apparently, the White House flag was raised back to full mast after 48 hours.

In defense of President Trump, I will say this: maybe he wanted to honor the man but also not be a hypocrite about their relationship.  In fact, McCain had been planning his funeral while battling brain cancer and specifically requested that Presidents Obama and Bush speak but did not request the same of President Trump.  That is certainly the right of McCain and his family, and we should respect those express wishes. 

It looks as if the president has done just that.  He has yet to come out and tweeted: Not asked by McCain family to speak at funeral.  Sad.  Nasty people.  Wouldn’t have anything nice to say about him anyway.  He didn’t ignore the death of Senator McCain, but instead sent his condolences to the family with the proper meter and tone.  Had he uncharacteristically praised McCain, that would have been more evidence that he was a hypocrite, flip-flopper, and liar.  The press-pundit-pol response would have been swift and jarring. 

Maybe the press is just perturbed that President Trump actually handled himself quite presidentially this time, showing a modicum of respect due the family while being true to the nature of their relationship. 

Also, I’ve noticed that media tributes to some people who pass away have gotten longer and more drawn out than in the past.  These selected deaths dominate the news cycle as if they were a cataclysmic natural disaster. The press and punditry perseverate on the deaths of some luminaries for days on end, the tributes are round-the-clock, and everyone who has a story to tell must be aired.  I find myself, after the initial announcement – whether it is John McCain or Charles Krauthammer – binge watching anything I can find to avoid the constant and repetitive news coverage.

Death is part of life.  Some people live more consequential lives than others, it’s true.  And those deaths and the lives led will be highlighted in the news cycle in ways most of us – no matter how consequential our lives might be to our families and friends – will never receive.  Ours will be a one-paragraph obituary in a local newspaper; there will be a funeral or memorial; friends and families will mourn, sit shiva, or attend a wake; and then life goes on. 

Now, some will argue that John McCain deserves more coverage than other politicians, war heroes, ex-presidential candidates…because he was all three, because his life was so consequential.  But I wonder if that is what is really going on here.  Let’s see what happens to Senator Bob Dole or President George H.W. Bush when they pass away.  Maybe I’m wrong, and they’ll be celebrated to the same extent as John McCain, and that is just how the 24-hour news cycle covers the deaths of political luminaries and celebrities.

But with all due respect, I cannot help but wonder if part of this outpouring – especially from the left-wingers and the Democrat-Media-Propaganda Complex – is because McCain not only sided with the Democrats on issues like immigration and outwardly despised Trump, but gave Trump the finger on repealing Obamacare.  Many believe that his thumbs-down vote was personal and emblematic of their mutual disdain – I’m not going to do something you want so badly and need me to be the deciding vote on, even if I agree with it in principle and despite the fact I got re-elected to vote in favor of repeal.  I’m going to stick it to you because of the nasty things you’ve said about me.  Maybe then you will learn your lesson.  If you want me to cooperate, you have to be nice.

I can understand that.  Trump hit McCain in his pithy core with his comments about his heroism and capture.  That was too close for McCain to just brush off.  McCain clearly wanted to make one last dig at Trump before he left this Earth, and he did, by asking non-sitting presidents to eulogize him.  That trumped anything Trump could say or do, and I think our president knows this.  So far, he has given this shot to McCain.  And so it should remain.

I hope Trump can continue to ignore the current wave of criticism and just leave his condolences where they are and not feel compelled to say anything further. 

We turn the other cheek when someone dies.  We don’t speak ill of the dead.  We don’t speak of their failures, and we don’t reference their negative attributes or personality flaws.  (Unless you are a liberal commenting on the death of a conservative you despise.)  If anything, we candy-coat their lives.  We all have had people in our lives die whom we really didn’t like, love, or respect, but whose funerals we had to attend or to whose families we had to send our condolences.

We don’t stand up and correct the record at a funeral.  We hold back our true feelings when we express our sympathies.  We don’t say, We are so sorry to hear about the death of Bob.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family even though he owes me money, said horrible things to me about my children, was a liar and a louse.”  No, we let it go.  Or we don’t attend the funeral or bother to send a card.

I am certain that Trump did not expect to be invited either to attend or speak at the funeral, and, indeed, he was not.  I also conjecture that had he been asked to attend or speak, he would have done so out of respect and would have comported himself appropriately.  Further, I do not think the president was morally obligated to say anything about John McCain’s death, however, sending out a respectful tweet and lowering the White House flag to half-mast was the right thing to do.  It was downright presidential.  And he should just leave it at that, knowing that the Democrat-Media Propaganda-Complex will never let it go.

How far does a president have to go in acknowledging the death of a political luminary?  Does the deceased deserve the same level of condolence if he was a bona fide political enemy of the president versus an ally?  We know that when Republicans die, Democrats and their supporters in the Democrat-Media-Propaganda Complex often celebrate their demise.  They do not show any restraint in their postmortem comments because they feel justified in stating publicly that the world is now better off and no longer contaminated by a conservative politician who was pro-wall, anti-illegal immigration, pro-gun, or anti-abortion.  If the dearly departed was a religious Christian, he is openly mocked.  Republicans are generally regarded as such abominations to the left-wing agenda and societal advancement that their deaths are seen as celebrations not for the life they led, but for the lives in this country they can no longer soil. 

There is no denying that President Trump and Senator McCain were oil and vinegar, cobra and mongoose, with an unfiltered and palpable disdain for one another.  It doesn’t matter who lobbed the initiating insult.  They equally exchanged nasty barbs and damaging criticisms. 

Trump had several choices: (1) say nothing about Senator McCain’s passing, for which he would be endlessly bludgeoned by the press and punditry; (2) extol the virtues of the deceased in a manner clearly at odds with their relationship and invite endless bludgeoning from the press and punditry for being a hypocrite; or (3) pay polite and respectful condolences to the family, honor his death holding the flag at half-mast, and leave the praise-filled eulogies to those who could do so sincerely…and be bludgeoned in the punditry and press because he didn’t deliver enough praise or keep the flag at half-mast long enough.  In case you don’t know it, the Democrat-Media-Propaganda Complex is hysterical about Trump’s response to John McCain’s death. 

The offending Trump tweet that has been the source of so much ire on the part of the punditry and press reads as follows: “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain.  Our hearts and prayers are with you!”  The flag at his Virginia golf course was lowered to half-mast in Senator McCain’s honor, as was the flag at the White House.  Apparently, the White House flag was raised back to full mast after 48 hours.

In defense of President Trump, I will say this: maybe he wanted to honor the man but also not be a hypocrite about their relationship.  In fact, McCain had been planning his funeral while battling brain cancer and specifically requested that Presidents Obama and Bush speak but did not request the same of President Trump.  That is certainly the right of McCain and his family, and we should respect those express wishes. 

It looks as if the president has done just that.  He has yet to come out and tweeted: Not asked by McCain family to speak at funeral.  Sad.  Nasty people.  Wouldn’t have anything nice to say about him anyway.  He didn’t ignore the death of Senator McCain, but instead sent his condolences to the family with the proper meter and tone.  Had he uncharacteristically praised McCain, that would have been more evidence that he was a hypocrite, flip-flopper, and liar.  The press-pundit-pol response would have been swift and jarring. 

Maybe the press is just perturbed that President Trump actually handled himself quite presidentially this time, showing a modicum of respect due the family while being true to the nature of their relationship. 

Also, I’ve noticed that media tributes to some people who pass away have gotten longer and more drawn out than in the past.  These selected deaths dominate the news cycle as if they were a cataclysmic natural disaster. The press and punditry perseverate on the deaths of some luminaries for days on end, the tributes are round-the-clock, and everyone who has a story to tell must be aired.  I find myself, after the initial announcement – whether it is John McCain or Charles Krauthammer – binge watching anything I can find to avoid the constant and repetitive news coverage.

Death is part of life.  Some people live more consequential lives than others, it’s true.  And those deaths and the lives led will be highlighted in the news cycle in ways most of us – no matter how consequential our lives might be to our families and friends – will never receive.  Ours will be a one-paragraph obituary in a local newspaper; there will be a funeral or memorial; friends and families will mourn, sit shiva, or attend a wake; and then life goes on. 

Now, some will argue that John McCain deserves more coverage than other politicians, war heroes, ex-presidential candidates…because he was all three, because his life was so consequential.  But I wonder if that is what is really going on here.  Let’s see what happens to Senator Bob Dole or President George H.W. Bush when they pass away.  Maybe I’m wrong, and they’ll be celebrated to the same extent as John McCain, and that is just how the 24-hour news cycle covers the deaths of political luminaries and celebrities.

But with all due respect, I cannot help but wonder if part of this outpouring – especially from the left-wingers and the Democrat-Media-Propaganda Complex – is because McCain not only sided with the Democrats on issues like immigration and outwardly despised Trump, but gave Trump the finger on repealing Obamacare.  Many believe that his thumbs-down vote was personal and emblematic of their mutual disdain – I’m not going to do something you want so badly and need me to be the deciding vote on, even if I agree with it in principle and despite the fact I got re-elected to vote in favor of repeal.  I’m going to stick it to you because of the nasty things you’ve said about me.  Maybe then you will learn your lesson.  If you want me to cooperate, you have to be nice.

I can understand that.  Trump hit McCain in his pithy core with his comments about his heroism and capture.  That was too close for McCain to just brush off.  McCain clearly wanted to make one last dig at Trump before he left this Earth, and he did, by asking non-sitting presidents to eulogize him.  That trumped anything Trump could say or do, and I think our president knows this.  So far, he has given this shot to McCain.  And so it should remain.

I hope Trump can continue to ignore the current wave of criticism and just leave his condolences where they are and not feel compelled to say anything further. 

We turn the other cheek when someone dies.  We don’t speak ill of the dead.  We don’t speak of their failures, and we don’t reference their negative attributes or personality flaws.  (Unless you are a liberal commenting on the death of a conservative you despise.)  If anything, we candy-coat their lives.  We all have had people in our lives die whom we really didn’t like, love, or respect, but whose funerals we had to attend or to whose families we had to send our condolences.

We don’t stand up and correct the record at a funeral.  We hold back our true feelings when we express our sympathies.  We don’t say, We are so sorry to hear about the death of Bob.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family even though he owes me money, said horrible things to me about my children, was a liar and a louse.”  No, we let it go.  Or we don’t attend the funeral or bother to send a card.

I am certain that Trump did not expect to be invited either to attend or speak at the funeral, and, indeed, he was not.  I also conjecture that had he been asked to attend or speak, he would have done so out of respect and would have comported himself appropriately.  Further, I do not think the president was morally obligated to say anything about John McCain’s death, however, sending out a respectful tweet and lowering the White House flag to half-mast was the right thing to do.  It was downright presidential.  And he should just leave it at that, knowing that the Democrat-Media Propaganda-Complex will never let it go.



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John McCain and the Church Riots: A Firsthand Account


I met John McCain for the first time in the courtyard of the Hanoi Hilton, 47 years ago.  I considered him a friend until his death.  We frequently disagreed on political policies and tactics, but I have known few men whom I have respected as much as John McCain.  My respect was based on the circumstances under which I met him.

In 1970, I was one of 57 American prisoners of war (POWs) held at a camp 25 miles northwest of Hanoi, called Son Tay.  For unknown reasons in July we were moved out of that camp to another one nearby.  We learned later that the U.S. government was planning a raid on Son Tay.  We believed they knew we were no longer there, but the raid would wreak havoc on the morale of the North Vietnamese as well as boost our morale.  Both aims were achieved, in spades.

The raid took place on November 21, 1970.  It so alarmed the North Vietnamese that on November 24, they took POWs from all outlying camps and took us to the Hanoi Hilton, where their hold on us would be more secure.  We were put in a section we had never seen before.  Unlike our earlier stay, this time, we were in large cells, and we met POWs we hadn’t come across before.  We immediately began to organize.  We established communication throughout the camp and began holding classes of every kind as well as religious services.

On January 1, 1971, our captors announced that we could not continue to hold these services.  The rank and file immediately said that under no circumstances would we go along with this.

This resulted in growing friction between the camp authorities and the prisoners.  Finally, in early March, they took away the four senior men in my cell, Room 6, and the four senior men next door, in Room 7.  This was a misjudgment.  After taking away the senior four men in that cell, that left Air Force colonel George E. “Bud” Day as the senior man.  Bud was the most decorated warrior in American history and no shrinking violet.  But even he was not the leading troublemaker in that cell.  That was John McCain.

We could not make contact with the eight missing men, and this made us angry.  Over the course of the month of March, we increasingly showed our anger. Finally, on the evening of March 18, men in my cell, me included, went out with the crew to wash dishes after the evening meal and acted as though we were about to start a riot.  This clearly scared the hell out of the North Vietnamese.

We knew that the next provocation was likely to initiate serious retaliation.  Nevertheless, at 10:00 the next morning, the men in Room 7 sang “Onward Christian Soldiers” at the top of their lungs.  This was open defiance of camp regulations.  At noon, they sang every verse of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” 

As written, the song contains these words: “In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, with a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me.  As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free…”  In more recent times, the words were often changed to “let us live to make men free.”  The men in Room 7 sang the original words.  Hearing that, I knew that the men realized that by their open defiance, they might well be signing their own death warrants.  By tapping on the wall, the men next door told us that the singing had been organized not by Bud Day, but by John McCain.  To this day I cannot listen to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” or even attempt to sing it, without choking up thinking of Americans volunteering to die for their freedom to practice their religion.

That night, March 19, 1971, they took 36 of us out of our cells after dark and seated us in the courtyard.  Our arms were tied behind us, our hands were tied in front of us, and we were blindfolded.  The man next to me nudged me and said, “Who are you?”  “I am Jim Warner.  Who are you?”  He replied, “I’m John McCain.”

He went on: “In a communist country, when you defy the authorities and they take you out at night from where you live, tie you up, blindfold you, and surround you with people with guns, what happens next?  Well, we know that they f— up everything they set their hands to, so when they start shooting, it will probably be okay.”  He also muttered a line from the poem “Horatius at the Bridge” in Macaulay’s Lays of Ancient Rome: “How better for man to die than in facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers and the altars of his gods.”

The guns did not fire that evening, and John McCain went on to a long and storied political career. 

On fundamental principles, John McCain was an absolute rock.  He did not give an inch.  He had two broken arms and a broken leg when he was captured.  No one would have faulted him had he accepted early release.  He thought it was wrong, and he would not do it.

A man who believes that there are fundamental principles so important that he is willing to die for them, and to convince others to risk death to uphold those principles, is a man to be respected.

For your final voyage, John Sydney, may God grant you fair winds and following seas.  Farewell, my friend.

James H. Warner is a retired attorney.  He was a Marine officer who flew F-4s in Vietnam.  Captured in 1967, he was imprisoned until 1973.  He served as a domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan from 1985 until 1989.

I met John McCain for the first time in the courtyard of the Hanoi Hilton, 47 years ago.  I considered him a friend until his death.  We frequently disagreed on political policies and tactics, but I have known few men whom I have respected as much as John McCain.  My respect was based on the circumstances under which I met him.

In 1970, I was one of 57 American prisoners of war (POWs) held at a camp 25 miles northwest of Hanoi, called Son Tay.  For unknown reasons in July we were moved out of that camp to another one nearby.  We learned later that the U.S. government was planning a raid on Son Tay.  We believed they knew we were no longer there, but the raid would wreak havoc on the morale of the North Vietnamese as well as boost our morale.  Both aims were achieved, in spades.

The raid took place on November 21, 1970.  It so alarmed the North Vietnamese that on November 24, they took POWs from all outlying camps and took us to the Hanoi Hilton, where their hold on us would be more secure.  We were put in a section we had never seen before.  Unlike our earlier stay, this time, we were in large cells, and we met POWs we hadn’t come across before.  We immediately began to organize.  We established communication throughout the camp and began holding classes of every kind as well as religious services.

On January 1, 1971, our captors announced that we could not continue to hold these services.  The rank and file immediately said that under no circumstances would we go along with this.

This resulted in growing friction between the camp authorities and the prisoners.  Finally, in early March, they took away the four senior men in my cell, Room 6, and the four senior men next door, in Room 7.  This was a misjudgment.  After taking away the senior four men in that cell, that left Air Force colonel George E. “Bud” Day as the senior man.  Bud was the most decorated warrior in American history and no shrinking violet.  But even he was not the leading troublemaker in that cell.  That was John McCain.

We could not make contact with the eight missing men, and this made us angry.  Over the course of the month of March, we increasingly showed our anger. Finally, on the evening of March 18, men in my cell, me included, went out with the crew to wash dishes after the evening meal and acted as though we were about to start a riot.  This clearly scared the hell out of the North Vietnamese.

We knew that the next provocation was likely to initiate serious retaliation.  Nevertheless, at 10:00 the next morning, the men in Room 7 sang “Onward Christian Soldiers” at the top of their lungs.  This was open defiance of camp regulations.  At noon, they sang every verse of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” 

As written, the song contains these words: “In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, with a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me.  As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free…”  In more recent times, the words were often changed to “let us live to make men free.”  The men in Room 7 sang the original words.  Hearing that, I knew that the men realized that by their open defiance, they might well be signing their own death warrants.  By tapping on the wall, the men next door told us that the singing had been organized not by Bud Day, but by John McCain.  To this day I cannot listen to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” or even attempt to sing it, without choking up thinking of Americans volunteering to die for their freedom to practice their religion.

That night, March 19, 1971, they took 36 of us out of our cells after dark and seated us in the courtyard.  Our arms were tied behind us, our hands were tied in front of us, and we were blindfolded.  The man next to me nudged me and said, “Who are you?”  “I am Jim Warner.  Who are you?”  He replied, “I’m John McCain.”

He went on: “In a communist country, when you defy the authorities and they take you out at night from where you live, tie you up, blindfold you, and surround you with people with guns, what happens next?  Well, we know that they f— up everything they set their hands to, so when they start shooting, it will probably be okay.”  He also muttered a line from the poem “Horatius at the Bridge” in Macaulay’s Lays of Ancient Rome: “How better for man to die than in facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers and the altars of his gods.”

The guns did not fire that evening, and John McCain went on to a long and storied political career. 

On fundamental principles, John McCain was an absolute rock.  He did not give an inch.  He had two broken arms and a broken leg when he was captured.  No one would have faulted him had he accepted early release.  He thought it was wrong, and he would not do it.

A man who believes that there are fundamental principles so important that he is willing to die for them, and to convince others to risk death to uphold those principles, is a man to be respected.

For your final voyage, John Sydney, may God grant you fair winds and following seas.  Farewell, my friend.

James H. Warner is a retired attorney.  He was a Marine officer who flew F-4s in Vietnam.  Captured in 1967, he was imprisoned until 1973.  He served as a domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan from 1985 until 1989.



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Polls Are Just More Media Propaganda


Election season is upon us again, two years after one of the wildest roller-coaster political campaigns in recent memory.  This time, it’s Congress on the ballot, not Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton.  Yet President Trump is still on the ballot – his agenda, his policies, his future.

If Democrats win the House, we can expect Trump’s economic plans to be put on hold.  Aside from the unlikely prospect of impeachment, Democrats will use every congressional committee under their control to investigate the president and his administration.  Endless hearings, subpoenas, and media coverage will have the Trump administration spending every waking hour answering to Congress, leaving little time to make America great again.

That’s why this election is so important for the left.  The FBI and DOJ did their best to interfere with the 2016 election and prevent the inevitable outcome.  They then tried – and lied – to drive Trump from office, efforts that continue to this day, through FISA warrants, hiding of documents, and the special counsel investigation.  The last hasn’t given up on the Russian collusion story, going as far to date as interviewing a Manhattan madam as if she were the key to proving that Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin hacked the election.

The media are carrying the narrative on a daily basis for the left.  Endless nonsensical news stories and panel discussions proliferate.  Hyper-partisan political hacks like John Brennan, who, despite losing his security clearance, doesn’t seem to have had his free speech curtailed as claimed, appear regularly on CNN and MSNBC to spout their Trump-hatred.

Then there are the opinion polls, a staple of any election cycle.  Are the polls reflecting public opinion, or are they another tool of the media and their patrons in the Democratic Party to affect the outcome of an election?  Are the media projecting, doing exactly what they accused Russia of doing: meddling in an election?

What does President Trump say?  In a June 25, 2018 rally in South Carolina, between audience cries of “Lock her up” and “CNN sucks,” the president weighed in on the polls.

We’ve never had a time like we’re having.  We’ve never had.  We’ve never had higher polls than we have now.


Even Gallup, Gallup, who treats me horribly, polls are fake news also.  What they do is called suppression.  They put out these horrible polls and then they hope that everyone’s going to say, ‘Hey, look, I like Trump, but he’s got no chance of winning.’  Suppression, it should be illegal actually.  You want to check these pollsters, where they’re coming from, they knew.


We had one with ABC, I think it was ABC Washington Post just before the election, like a week before we’re down 12.  Now, if you’re down 12, OK, if you’re down 12 it’s over if the polls are real.  But I said it can’t be real, we just went to Michigan, we had 30,000 people, we just went to other places.  Excuse me, we went to South Carolina, but I didn’t come here that often, you know why?  Because we were leading by a lot.

Is this simply Trumpian hyperbole?  Or is he spot on with his assessment?  Let’s go back to 2016, when all but one poll predicted a Hillary Clinton victory.  Here is a summary courtesy of Real Clear Politics.

Clearly, the end result was different.  After these polling organizations cleaned off the egg on their faces, they followed the rules of Bureaucracy 101 and convened a panel to figure out where they went wrong.  The Ad Hoc Committee on 2016 Election Polling noted the obvious: that “polls under-estimated support for Trump.”  Reasons included “over-representation of college graduates” and that some Trump-voters didn’t reveal their preference until after the election.

The first factor is poor sampling.  I wrote about this in 2016, describing an ABC News survey proclaiming a 12-point Clinton lead in a survey that oversampled Democrats over Republicans by 12 percentage points, with independents favoring Trump by 2 points, giving him a 2-point edge in the pool, misleading headline aside.

The second factor is poll respondents keeping their preferences quiet.  Perhaps they didn’t want to voice their support of Trump only to be called a Nazi, get thrown out of a restaurant, or get beaten up.

Were these polls designed to accurately reflect election preferences of the voters, or were they designed to feed the narrative that Madam President was a fait accompli?  Proclaiming her a landslide winner was wishful thinking and designed to dispirit Republican voters and suppress turnout.  This was not news, but instead propaganda.

Where do things stand currently?  Rasmussen, one of the most accurate polls in the 2016 election, has Trump’s job approval running in the mid- to high 40s most days in recent months.  He hit 50 percent one day earlier this month.  That’s better than President Obama was doing at the same point in his presidency.  Among Trump’s total approval numbers, he has 34 percent approval among blacks.

Republicans are also more likely to vote party line than Democrats, according to Rasmussen – another factor boding well for the GOP in the midterm elections.

Polls are interesting, but much can change in the next three months before the midterms.  Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen may be problematic for Trump or simply a media distraction.  Expect the media to paint Republican midterm prospects as bleak, hoping to depress GOP voters into a “why bother voting?” mood before Election Day.

Remember that “more than 90 percent of D.C. journalists vote Democratic, with an even higher number giving to Democrats or liberal-leaning political action committees.”  These are the people commissioning the polls and interpreting the results for us.  Take it all with a big grain of salt.

Remember too that even though Donald Trump is not on any ballot this coming November, his agenda is – future judicial appointments, trade deals, tax cuts, curbing illegal immigration, and continuing to drain the corrupt Deep State swamp.  Your vote could make the difference.
Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer.  Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Election season is upon us again, two years after one of the wildest roller-coaster political campaigns in recent memory.  This time, it’s Congress on the ballot, not Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton.  Yet President Trump is still on the ballot – his agenda, his policies, his future.

If Democrats win the House, we can expect Trump’s economic plans to be put on hold.  Aside from the unlikely prospect of impeachment, Democrats will use every congressional committee under their control to investigate the president and his administration.  Endless hearings, subpoenas, and media coverage will have the Trump administration spending every waking hour answering to Congress, leaving little time to make America great again.

That’s why this election is so important for the left.  The FBI and DOJ did their best to interfere with the 2016 election and prevent the inevitable outcome.  They then tried – and lied – to drive Trump from office, efforts that continue to this day, through FISA warrants, hiding of documents, and the special counsel investigation.  The last hasn’t given up on the Russian collusion story, going as far to date as interviewing a Manhattan madam as if she were the key to proving that Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin hacked the election.

The media are carrying the narrative on a daily basis for the left.  Endless nonsensical news stories and panel discussions proliferate.  Hyper-partisan political hacks like John Brennan, who, despite losing his security clearance, doesn’t seem to have had his free speech curtailed as claimed, appear regularly on CNN and MSNBC to spout their Trump-hatred.

Then there are the opinion polls, a staple of any election cycle.  Are the polls reflecting public opinion, or are they another tool of the media and their patrons in the Democratic Party to affect the outcome of an election?  Are the media projecting, doing exactly what they accused Russia of doing: meddling in an election?

What does President Trump say?  In a June 25, 2018 rally in South Carolina, between audience cries of “Lock her up” and “CNN sucks,” the president weighed in on the polls.

We’ve never had a time like we’re having.  We’ve never had.  We’ve never had higher polls than we have now.


Even Gallup, Gallup, who treats me horribly, polls are fake news also.  What they do is called suppression.  They put out these horrible polls and then they hope that everyone’s going to say, ‘Hey, look, I like Trump, but he’s got no chance of winning.’  Suppression, it should be illegal actually.  You want to check these pollsters, where they’re coming from, they knew.


We had one with ABC, I think it was ABC Washington Post just before the election, like a week before we’re down 12.  Now, if you’re down 12, OK, if you’re down 12 it’s over if the polls are real.  But I said it can’t be real, we just went to Michigan, we had 30,000 people, we just went to other places.  Excuse me, we went to South Carolina, but I didn’t come here that often, you know why?  Because we were leading by a lot.

Is this simply Trumpian hyperbole?  Or is he spot on with his assessment?  Let’s go back to 2016, when all but one poll predicted a Hillary Clinton victory.  Here is a summary courtesy of Real Clear Politics.

Clearly, the end result was different.  After these polling organizations cleaned off the egg on their faces, they followed the rules of Bureaucracy 101 and convened a panel to figure out where they went wrong.  The Ad Hoc Committee on 2016 Election Polling noted the obvious: that “polls under-estimated support for Trump.”  Reasons included “over-representation of college graduates” and that some Trump-voters didn’t reveal their preference until after the election.

The first factor is poor sampling.  I wrote about this in 2016, describing an ABC News survey proclaiming a 12-point Clinton lead in a survey that oversampled Democrats over Republicans by 12 percentage points, with independents favoring Trump by 2 points, giving him a 2-point edge in the pool, misleading headline aside.

The second factor is poll respondents keeping their preferences quiet.  Perhaps they didn’t want to voice their support of Trump only to be called a Nazi, get thrown out of a restaurant, or get beaten up.

Were these polls designed to accurately reflect election preferences of the voters, or were they designed to feed the narrative that Madam President was a fait accompli?  Proclaiming her a landslide winner was wishful thinking and designed to dispirit Republican voters and suppress turnout.  This was not news, but instead propaganda.

Where do things stand currently?  Rasmussen, one of the most accurate polls in the 2016 election, has Trump’s job approval running in the mid- to high 40s most days in recent months.  He hit 50 percent one day earlier this month.  That’s better than President Obama was doing at the same point in his presidency.  Among Trump’s total approval numbers, he has 34 percent approval among blacks.

Republicans are also more likely to vote party line than Democrats, according to Rasmussen – another factor boding well for the GOP in the midterm elections.

Polls are interesting, but much can change in the next three months before the midterms.  Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen may be problematic for Trump or simply a media distraction.  Expect the media to paint Republican midterm prospects as bleak, hoping to depress GOP voters into a “why bother voting?” mood before Election Day.

Remember that “more than 90 percent of D.C. journalists vote Democratic, with an even higher number giving to Democrats or liberal-leaning political action committees.”  These are the people commissioning the polls and interpreting the results for us.  Take it all with a big grain of salt.

Remember too that even though Donald Trump is not on any ballot this coming November, his agenda is – future judicial appointments, trade deals, tax cuts, curbing illegal immigration, and continuing to drain the corrupt Deep State swamp.  Your vote could make the difference.
Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer.  Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.



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Burying Us Won't Work, Liberals


Remember when Nikita Khrushchev, general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, said “we will bury you” to the Western ambassadors in Moscow?  Me, neither.  I was ten at the time.  Here is the full quote from La Wik.

About the capitalist states, it doesn’t depend on you whether or not we exist.  If you don’t like us, don’t accept our invitations, and don’t invite us to come to see you.  Whether you like it or not, history is on our side.  We will bury you!

Ah, yes: history, God bless it.  But I would say a declaration of war like that is not good strategy.  I’m sure that the great mavens of strategy, from Sun Tzu to Machiavelli to Bismarck, or even the strategic bureaucrats of the German General Staff, would disapprove.

For the best way to win, if I read the geniuses correctly, is to induce the loser to give up without firing a shot.

So I don’t think the Gramsci idea of the march through the institutions, or the Marcuse strategy of repressive tolerance toward right-wing thought, or the SPLC strategy of silencing conservatives on the internet by branding David Horowitz as “hate speech,” is really a good idea.  Not if you advertise it to all the world.

At some point, we deplorables are going to wake up out of our innocent slumber and realize that the left means to wipe us out: culturally, politically, economically, or maybe even…  Well, never mind.  We already did.

If you are the mother of a schoolchild, the schools are determined to let boys into the girls’ bathroom.

If you are the parent of a college girl, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) isn’t too concerned about your daughter being killed by an illegal alien.

If you are an ordinary conservative who reads Dennis Prager or David Horowitz or Salena Zito, you wake up to find social media censoring their anodyne remarks.

At a time when young men are struggling to get through college, you read of lefty academics and administrators determined to cure young men of their toxic masculinity.

If you watch the news, you rage about the proctological justice meted out to associates of Donald Trump as opposed to the “she didn’t mean it” excuses awarded to Democrats.

Now, if you read the thumb-suckers at The Atlantic, you read Eliot A. Cohen telling how Trump the dictator will end up, like Mussolini and Macbeth, deserted by his followers.

As usual, our betters have got the wrong end of the stick.  It is never the followers who abandon ship; it is the courtiers.

If Trump does go down, it will be because GOP honchos in Congress drive down Pennsylvania Avenue and tell him he’s got to go, as Sens. Scott and Goldwater and Rep. Rhodes told Nixon in 1974.

Only this time, they won’t, because they know that if they do, the Republican voters will repudiate them before they repudiate President Trump.

This is not that complicated.  There is only one practical response to the left’s attack on everything we hold dear, and that is to cleave to the politician who promises to protect us, however flawed and corrupt he might be.

There is nothing mysterious about this.  The whole purpose of politics, from the local village Big Man to George Washington to Dwight Eisenhower, is to defend “us” against “them.”

If there is no existential threat to “us,” then there is no need for leadership, no need for defense budgets, no need to rally all good men to fight the foe.

But that is not the case today, thanks to our lefty friends who openly tell us we are racist, sexist, homophobic scum who deserve whatever is coming to us.  Thus, there is an existential threat, and we do need a leader to protect us.

Really, we should thank our lefty friends for their strategic innocence, that all along, beginning with Marx, they “openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies.”

When humans detect a threat to their well-being, then we instinctively look for a leader to protect us.  So even if they are making a strategic blunder, we should thank our lefty friends for being so up front with us: they mean to destroy us, and we have to stop them.

So what do we do?  The NeverTrump right has said it is not going to fight for us; the Deep State has told us that it is not going to help us; and the left has told us in no uncertain terms, “We will bury you.”

In that kind of America, what kind of a fool would give up on Donald Trump?

Christopher Chantrill (@chrischantrill) runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

Remember when Nikita Khrushchev, general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, said “we will bury you” to the Western ambassadors in Moscow?  Me, neither.  I was ten at the time.  Here is the full quote from La Wik.

About the capitalist states, it doesn’t depend on you whether or not we exist.  If you don’t like us, don’t accept our invitations, and don’t invite us to come to see you.  Whether you like it or not, history is on our side.  We will bury you!

Ah, yes: history, God bless it.  But I would say a declaration of war like that is not good strategy.  I’m sure that the great mavens of strategy, from Sun Tzu to Machiavelli to Bismarck, or even the strategic bureaucrats of the German General Staff, would disapprove.

For the best way to win, if I read the geniuses correctly, is to induce the loser to give up without firing a shot.

So I don’t think the Gramsci idea of the march through the institutions, or the Marcuse strategy of repressive tolerance toward right-wing thought, or the SPLC strategy of silencing conservatives on the internet by branding David Horowitz as “hate speech,” is really a good idea.  Not if you advertise it to all the world.

At some point, we deplorables are going to wake up out of our innocent slumber and realize that the left means to wipe us out: culturally, politically, economically, or maybe even…  Well, never mind.  We already did.

If you are the mother of a schoolchild, the schools are determined to let boys into the girls’ bathroom.

If you are the parent of a college girl, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) isn’t too concerned about your daughter being killed by an illegal alien.

If you are an ordinary conservative who reads Dennis Prager or David Horowitz or Salena Zito, you wake up to find social media censoring their anodyne remarks.

At a time when young men are struggling to get through college, you read of lefty academics and administrators determined to cure young men of their toxic masculinity.

If you watch the news, you rage about the proctological justice meted out to associates of Donald Trump as opposed to the “she didn’t mean it” excuses awarded to Democrats.

Now, if you read the thumb-suckers at The Atlantic, you read Eliot A. Cohen telling how Trump the dictator will end up, like Mussolini and Macbeth, deserted by his followers.

As usual, our betters have got the wrong end of the stick.  It is never the followers who abandon ship; it is the courtiers.

If Trump does go down, it will be because GOP honchos in Congress drive down Pennsylvania Avenue and tell him he’s got to go, as Sens. Scott and Goldwater and Rep. Rhodes told Nixon in 1974.

Only this time, they won’t, because they know that if they do, the Republican voters will repudiate them before they repudiate President Trump.

This is not that complicated.  There is only one practical response to the left’s attack on everything we hold dear, and that is to cleave to the politician who promises to protect us, however flawed and corrupt he might be.

There is nothing mysterious about this.  The whole purpose of politics, from the local village Big Man to George Washington to Dwight Eisenhower, is to defend “us” against “them.”

If there is no existential threat to “us,” then there is no need for leadership, no need for defense budgets, no need to rally all good men to fight the foe.

But that is not the case today, thanks to our lefty friends who openly tell us we are racist, sexist, homophobic scum who deserve whatever is coming to us.  Thus, there is an existential threat, and we do need a leader to protect us.

Really, we should thank our lefty friends for their strategic innocence, that all along, beginning with Marx, they “openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies.”

When humans detect a threat to their well-being, then we instinctively look for a leader to protect us.  So even if they are making a strategic blunder, we should thank our lefty friends for being so up front with us: they mean to destroy us, and we have to stop them.

So what do we do?  The NeverTrump right has said it is not going to fight for us; the Deep State has told us that it is not going to help us; and the left has told us in no uncertain terms, “We will bury you.”

In that kind of America, what kind of a fool would give up on Donald Trump?

Christopher Chantrill (@chrischantrill) runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.



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1 in 20 use e-cigs…


(Reuters Health) – Roughly 10.8 million American adults are currently using e-cigarettes, and more than half of them are under 35 years old, a U.S. study suggests.

FILE PHOTO: A customer tries different e-cigarette flavors at the Henley Vaporium in New York, U.S. June 23, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

One in three e-cigarette users are vaping daily, researchers report in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“Electronic cigarette use is also closely associated with other high-risk behaviors,” said senior study author Dr. Michael Blaha, director of clinical research for the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease in Baltimore. “The most common pattern of use in the U.S. is dual use, i.e. current use of both traditional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes.”

Twenty-somethings, smokers of traditional cigarettes, unemployed adults, and people who identify as lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender (LGBT) are more likely than other individuals to use e-cigarettes, the study also found.

“It is becoming clear that specific vulnerable groups are at highest risk of adopting electronic cigarettes,” Blaha said by email.

Big tobacco companies, including Altria Group Inc, Lorillard Tobacco Co and Reynolds American Inc, are all developing e-cigarettes. The battery-powered devices feature a glowing tip and a heating element that turns liquid nicotine and other flavorings into a cloud of vapor that users inhale.

E-cigarettes containing nicotine can be addictive like traditional cigarettes. Even without nicotine, some research suggests that flavorings and other ingredients in e-liquids used for vaping could be linked to serious breathing problems.

Another open question is whether e-cigarettes might help some people cut back on smoking traditional cigarettes or quit altogether, and the study doesn’t offer a clear answer.

Overall, 1.4 percent of people in the study who never smoked traditional cigarettes used e-cigarettes, as did 7.6 percent of ex-smokers and 14.4 percent of current smokers.

Men vaped more often than women; 5.9 percent of men reported current e-cigarette use compared with 3.7 percent of women.

Vaping was even more common among sexual minorities. Seven percent of lesbian and gay people were current e-cigarette users, as were 9 percent of bisexual adults and 8.7 percent of transgender individuals.

People with chronic medical problems like heart disease, cancer, asthma and breathing disorders were also more likely to vape than individuals without these common health issues.

A limitation, however, is that all of the data was self-reported and not verified by medical records. Researchers also didn’t know the type of e-cigarette devices people used or the liquids they vaped, which might influence health outcomes associated with vaping.

One advantage of the study is that researchers had responses from nearly 467,000 adults, making it possible to examine trends for subgroups like LGBTQ individuals in a way that wouldn’t be possible with a smaller survey.

“We know that most e-cigarette users are smokers of conventional cigarettes and that LGBTQ adults are more likely to smoke conventional cigarettes, so I am not surprised that the prevalence of e-cigarette use is higher among LGBTQ individuals,” said Dr. Nancy Rigotti, director of the Tobacco Research and Treatment Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

“Current smokers and recent quitters are the groups in which e-cig use is highest,” Rigotti, author of an accompanying editorial, said by email.

“Why LGBTQ adults are more likely to smoke cigarettes is a complex question, but these individuals have a higher prevalence of other substance use disorders and mental health (diagnoses),” Rigotti added. “Tobacco use is high in adults with these conditions and this no doubt contributes to the higher level of tobacco use in LGBT individuals.”

SOURCE: bit.ly/2wkECfL Annals of Internal Medicine, online August 27, 2018.

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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Leftists Rage, Conservatives Waver, Americans Die


#NeverTrumps – that is, right-wing politicians, pundits, and journalists with a deep-seated, almost metabolic aversion to the president, no matter how appreciable his accomplishments are – represent a phenomenon that doesn’t cease to puzzle me.  In a country that has been experiencing a decline in every meaningful indicator of societal and cultural health – drug addiction, birth rate, family stability,  literacy and education, etc. – and that Trump is indefatigably trying to put back on track, you’d think nobody would lash out at him only over, say, a disagreement on free trade policies or because of his offhand way of talking and behaving, so different from other presidents.  In the grand scheme of things, these differences are of small account, right?

Well, no.  We are nearly two years into Trump’s presidency, but a perverse contingent of elitists with perpetually raised index fingers just cannot cope with him being the president and acting as such.  This uneasiness of spirit has sometimes bordered on the psychotic – in the aftermath of Charlottesville, for example, when Trump was not allowed to reject the narrative that the country is besieged by the Alt-Right – and has recently reached worryingly elevated peaks.  Maybe the last example in chronological order is Rod Dreher’s piece on The American Conservative about the “menace to the rule of law” Trump represents.  Dreher, a famous and esteemed Christian apologist whose book The Benedict Option is known to many Christians in North America, quotes a piece at The Atlantic by Peter Beinart:

Fox’s decision to focus on the Iowa murder rather than Cohen’s guilty plea illustrates Stanley’s point.  In the eyes of many Fox viewers, I suspect, the network isn’t ignoring corruption so much as highlighting the kind that really matters.  When Trump instructed Cohen to pay off women with whom he’d had affairs, he may have been violating the law.  But he was upholding traditional gender and class hierarchies.  Since time immemorial, powerful men have been cheating on their wives and using their power to evade the consequences.


The Iowa murder, by contrast, signifies the inversion – the corruption – of that “traditional order.”  Throughout American history, few notions have been as sacrosanct as the belief that white women must be protected from non-white men.  By allegedly murdering Tibbetts, Rivera did not merely violate the law.  He did something more subversive: He violated America’s traditional racial and sexual norms.


Once you grasp that for Trump and many of his supporters, corruption means less the violation of law than the violation of established hierarchies, their behavior makes more sense.  Since 2014, Trump has employed the phrase rule of law nine times in tweets.  Seven of them refer to illegal immigration.

Dreher’s comment:

I’m not sure that I buy that, but I can’t dismiss it outright.  I can’t find a better explanation for why so many on the Right roll over and accept anything Trump says or does, no matter what principle he violates.

So he can’t “dismiss outright” the claim that Fox News’s choice to cover the tragedy in Iowa was due to an inversion – intolerable to many viewers – of that traditional order that envisions “the belief that white women must be protected from non-white men.”  It was not because an innocent American girl was brutally killed by a despicable individual who should never have been allowed to cross the border.  It was because those savage tribes of troglodytes addicted to Fox News wanted to be updated on the intruder who had the gall to put his hands on one of their young female specimens, thereby violating their first rights to territory and breeding.  This is how the most snobbish and sanctimonious media elite on the planet regards millions of fellow citizens.

Even a fake sorrow for a young life snuffed out in so preventable a way – countries are supposed to have borders for a damn good reason – is too much to ask of the sophisticates who sit on the American coastal and urban media thrones.  Their urge to paper over the uncomfortable, narrative-disrupting reality with reassuring, self-esteem-boosting prejudices is just too strong.

But no matter how repugnant and astoundingly inhuman the meta-message conveyed in Beinart’s piece is, the reaction of someone as steeped in Catholic teachings as Dreher is more than disappointing: sorry, folks, can’t rule out the deplorables foaming at the mouth over the infraction of nature-ordained hierarchies.  As if Trump weren’t all that stands between Christians like Dreher, who write ad nauseam about their projects to re-Christianize America, and a totalitarian left that will stop at nothing to root religion out of the American soil.

And what to infer from his shallow dismissal of Trump supporters as clueless chumps “rolling over and accepting anything he says or does, no matter what principle he violates”?  I am no deep connoisseur of the human spirit, but a person whose only claim to fame is the profoundness of his Christian perspective and the forward-thinking approach of his apostolate should be deeper than that.

Nobody, or at most very few, roll over Trump.  Most do not accept “anything he says” at all, because they know that words are wind.  And they do not accept “anything he does,” but judge every specific initiative and decision on their merits.  Above all, they do not rend their garments every time Trump acts unpresidentially if he’s right on the substance – for example, when he calls the NFL players out for what they indisputably are: buffoonish, hypocritical millionaires.  The examples in this regard are countless.

Again, from Dreher’s piece:

It is possible to believe that the current political and culture order has been corrupted in some fundamental way, and to believe at the same time that Donald Trump is no enemy of that corruption, but in fact is a product of it.  I think that is manifestly obvious.  The same corruption infests the Left.

No, it’s not “the same corruption.”  Trump is no saint, but he doesn’t want to reshape the whole society to his own image, dictating how we must live our lives all the way down to which bathroom people must be allowed to use, and woe to those who raise any objection.  Moreover, he’s not been elected to ascend to the heights of purity and virtue so that his light could reverberate down (that was Obama).  There are plenty of that kind of model in the empyrean of the American presidents of the past, but nobody in particular seems to care.

No, he was elected to endeavor a desperate veer off the course the country inevitably seemed – seems? – to be on: toward decline and collapse.  The American right should at least agree on giving him props for trying his best so far.  It is discouraging to still need to point this out.

The mix-up of a deranged left, now openly and unashamedly indifferent to the tragedy of Americans dying on its watch if it doesn’t fit its narrative, and the enfeebled inertness of part of the right – Dreher couldn’t bring himself to go beyond a vague “I cannot personally rule out voting for Trump in 2020” – could turn out to be lethal for the country.

#NeverTrumps – that is, right-wing politicians, pundits, and journalists with a deep-seated, almost metabolic aversion to the president, no matter how appreciable his accomplishments are – represent a phenomenon that doesn’t cease to puzzle me.  In a country that has been experiencing a decline in every meaningful indicator of societal and cultural health – drug addiction, birth rate, family stability,  literacy and education, etc. – and that Trump is indefatigably trying to put back on track, you’d think nobody would lash out at him only over, say, a disagreement on free trade policies or because of his offhand way of talking and behaving, so different from other presidents.  In the grand scheme of things, these differences are of small account, right?

Well, no.  We are nearly two years into Trump’s presidency, but a perverse contingent of elitists with perpetually raised index fingers just cannot cope with him being the president and acting as such.  This uneasiness of spirit has sometimes bordered on the psychotic – in the aftermath of Charlottesville, for example, when Trump was not allowed to reject the narrative that the country is besieged by the Alt-Right – and has recently reached worryingly elevated peaks.  Maybe the last example in chronological order is Rod Dreher’s piece on The American Conservative about the “menace to the rule of law” Trump represents.  Dreher, a famous and esteemed Christian apologist whose book The Benedict Option is known to many Christians in North America, quotes a piece at The Atlantic by Peter Beinart:

Fox’s decision to focus on the Iowa murder rather than Cohen’s guilty plea illustrates Stanley’s point.  In the eyes of many Fox viewers, I suspect, the network isn’t ignoring corruption so much as highlighting the kind that really matters.  When Trump instructed Cohen to pay off women with whom he’d had affairs, he may have been violating the law.  But he was upholding traditional gender and class hierarchies.  Since time immemorial, powerful men have been cheating on their wives and using their power to evade the consequences.


The Iowa murder, by contrast, signifies the inversion – the corruption – of that “traditional order.”  Throughout American history, few notions have been as sacrosanct as the belief that white women must be protected from non-white men.  By allegedly murdering Tibbetts, Rivera did not merely violate the law.  He did something more subversive: He violated America’s traditional racial and sexual norms.


Once you grasp that for Trump and many of his supporters, corruption means less the violation of law than the violation of established hierarchies, their behavior makes more sense.  Since 2014, Trump has employed the phrase rule of law nine times in tweets.  Seven of them refer to illegal immigration.

Dreher’s comment:

I’m not sure that I buy that, but I can’t dismiss it outright.  I can’t find a better explanation for why so many on the Right roll over and accept anything Trump says or does, no matter what principle he violates.

So he can’t “dismiss outright” the claim that Fox News’s choice to cover the tragedy in Iowa was due to an inversion – intolerable to many viewers – of that traditional order that envisions “the belief that white women must be protected from non-white men.”  It was not because an innocent American girl was brutally killed by a despicable individual who should never have been allowed to cross the border.  It was because those savage tribes of troglodytes addicted to Fox News wanted to be updated on the intruder who had the gall to put his hands on one of their young female specimens, thereby violating their first rights to territory and breeding.  This is how the most snobbish and sanctimonious media elite on the planet regards millions of fellow citizens.

Even a fake sorrow for a young life snuffed out in so preventable a way – countries are supposed to have borders for a damn good reason – is too much to ask of the sophisticates who sit on the American coastal and urban media thrones.  Their urge to paper over the uncomfortable, narrative-disrupting reality with reassuring, self-esteem-boosting prejudices is just too strong.

But no matter how repugnant and astoundingly inhuman the meta-message conveyed in Beinart’s piece is, the reaction of someone as steeped in Catholic teachings as Dreher is more than disappointing: sorry, folks, can’t rule out the deplorables foaming at the mouth over the infraction of nature-ordained hierarchies.  As if Trump weren’t all that stands between Christians like Dreher, who write ad nauseam about their projects to re-Christianize America, and a totalitarian left that will stop at nothing to root religion out of the American soil.

And what to infer from his shallow dismissal of Trump supporters as clueless chumps “rolling over and accepting anything he says or does, no matter what principle he violates”?  I am no deep connoisseur of the human spirit, but a person whose only claim to fame is the profoundness of his Christian perspective and the forward-thinking approach of his apostolate should be deeper than that.

Nobody, or at most very few, roll over Trump.  Most do not accept “anything he says” at all, because they know that words are wind.  And they do not accept “anything he does,” but judge every specific initiative and decision on their merits.  Above all, they do not rend their garments every time Trump acts unpresidentially if he’s right on the substance – for example, when he calls the NFL players out for what they indisputably are: buffoonish, hypocritical millionaires.  The examples in this regard are countless.

Again, from Dreher’s piece:

It is possible to believe that the current political and culture order has been corrupted in some fundamental way, and to believe at the same time that Donald Trump is no enemy of that corruption, but in fact is a product of it.  I think that is manifestly obvious.  The same corruption infests the Left.

No, it’s not “the same corruption.”  Trump is no saint, but he doesn’t want to reshape the whole society to his own image, dictating how we must live our lives all the way down to which bathroom people must be allowed to use, and woe to those who raise any objection.  Moreover, he’s not been elected to ascend to the heights of purity and virtue so that his light could reverberate down (that was Obama).  There are plenty of that kind of model in the empyrean of the American presidents of the past, but nobody in particular seems to care.

No, he was elected to endeavor a desperate veer off the course the country inevitably seemed – seems? – to be on: toward decline and collapse.  The American right should at least agree on giving him props for trying his best so far.  It is discouraging to still need to point this out.

The mix-up of a deranged left, now openly and unashamedly indifferent to the tragedy of Americans dying on its watch if it doesn’t fit its narrative, and the enfeebled inertness of part of the right – Dreher couldn’t bring himself to go beyond a vague “I cannot personally rule out voting for Trump in 2020” – could turn out to be lethal for the country.



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Donald Trump and the Purveyors of Civility


With the election of Donald Trump as president, the words “civility” and “character” have become among the most overused terms in current political discourse.  According to his adversaries, Trump grotesquely lacks these attributes.  However, over the past 30 years, the necessity of possessing and living by these traits has been limited to the Republican Party or conservatives in general.  The Democrats and the American left are exempt from this requirement.  

If Donald Trump had run for president and won as the nominee of the Democratic Party, his lack of character and rampant incivility would not be an issue, and in fact, those mannerisms would be praised as revealing a tenacious and determined personality.

How did this absurd double standard evolve?  It began in 1988 with the election of George H.W. Bush.  He won not on his own merits, but almost solely because he was the beneficiary of being the vice president during the two terms of Ronald Reagan – in many ways the most successful and popular president of the twentieth century.

The Bush family dynasty exemplifies the patrician attitude of holding oneself above the fray after fulfilling one’s pre-ordained obligation to society.  This may have been fine in the halcyon days of the past, when America’s future seemed limitless and those answering to the call of duty and their political adversaries alike were for the most part honorable people. 

The 1992 presidential election campaign of George H.W. Bush, in keeping with his penchant for civility, ran a lackluster campaign against Bill Clinton, relying instead on his record and sterling character.  Bush and the Republican National Committee, upon his instructions, never went for the jugular with Clinton, who was saddled with innumerable scandals and falsehoods. 

Clinton, not shackled by the niceties of civility, aggressively attacked Bush as being a liar, someone in league with the rich and powerful, and an essentially untrustworthy con man who also was up to his eyeballs in the Iran Contra Affair.  This charge was seemingly coordinated with Lawrence Walsh, the special prosecutor for the Iran Contra Affair, as a mere two weeks before the election, he indicted Caspar Weinberger, Bush’s secretary of defense.  Clinton, with a smirk and straight face, implied that Bush, despite his denials and lack of evidence, was complicit in the scandal.  Four weeks later, a federal district judge threw out the indictment, but the damage was done, and Bill Clinton was president for the next eight years.

While George H.W. Bush opened the door to civility as applicable to Republicans only, his son George W. Bush, also a decent and honorable person, cemented that premise in the body politic.  In his inaugural address in 2000, George W. Bush stated the following as he committed himself to adhering to the ideal of political civility: “Civility is not a tactic or a sentiment.  It is the determined choice of trust over cynicism, of community over chaos.”

These are fine and noble sentiments if all parties endeavor to follow them.  However, during his eight years in office, Bush was incessantly and falsely accused, by the Democrats, their allies in the media, and the left, of being the worst human being on Earth.  As he was a genocidal warmonger, one of the most racist presidents in history, and a prevaricator, as well as a misogynist and plutocrat, therefore he was someone who should be assassinated for the benefit of mankind.  But in keeping with his dedication to civility and reverence for the office, George W. Bush refused to respond or allow his subordinates to defend him in public against any of these charges, thereby allowing them to be cemented in the public psyche.  By the end of his term, his approval rating was the lowest ever recorded, and the Democrats as well as the left were emboldened with a new and highly successful tactic to destroy their opposition.

Not having learned their lesson from the George W. Bush experience – that the Democrats their allies in the media and the left would never campaign on issues, but instead primarily focus on personal destruction and incivility – the Republican Party in 2008 nominated the next man in line, John McCain – another candidate of character and integrity as well as a disciple of the Bush concept of civility and someone it was assumed the media liked.  He thus ran his presidential campaign as the model of civility and decorum against the neo-socialist Barack Obama.  The opposition, as expected, went scorched earth.

During the campaign, Democrats, using the playbook established to tear down George W. Bush, smeared John McCain, an American military hero, as a warmonger, an unapologetic racist, of having an affair with a lobbyist, of being a phony POW in Vietnam, and too old and scarred by his POW experience to be president.  Like Bush, McCain refused to aggressively fight back and take the offensive.  Unsurprisingly, he was soundly defeated by Barack Obama, thus opening the door for the extreme left to take over the Democratic Party and many of the levers of power in Washington, D.C.

In 2012, not to be outdone by nominating John McCain in 2008, the Republican Party chose to back another genuine, decent man of character.  The decision was made to back someone who was the personification of an Eagle Scout.  Surely, Mitt Romney, as he had no skeletons in his closet, could weather and avoid the character assassination tactics of the media and the Democrats while pursuing a civil discourse during the campaign.  Romney, being who he is, engaged in the same bland and civil campaign tactics of his predecessors: the two Georges Bush, Bob Dole, and John McCain.

However, it took little time for the left-wing forces arrayed against Romney to fire their volleys.  A new accusation was hurled as Romney and the Republicans were publicly compared to the Nazis by the Democrats.  Romney was also portrayed as a right-wing extremist, a congenital liar, and a corporate elitist whose only interest is protecting the wealthy.  Further, he was a sexist bordering on misogyny.  The always reliable charge of racism was naturally leveled at Romney.  And he was portrayed as not only a draft-dodger, but a wild-eyed warmonger.  By the end of the campaign, Romney, as George W. Bush and John McCain before him, was portrayed as being among the most reprehensible men on Earth.

Yet these gentlemen accepted this caricature with civility and grace while the country inexorably fell into the hands of the neo-socialists and radicals in the Democratic Party. 

The Tea Party movement was a direct response to the efforts of Obama and his henchmen culturally and economically transforming America.  More importantly, it was a gut reaction to the hierarchy of the Republican Party and its presidential candidates continuously surrendering on the battlefield, all the while waving the flag of civility – particularly as the other side was free to wage a scorched earth campaign without compunction, consequence, or push-back.

Rank-and-file Republicans and conservatives instinctively knew that 2016 was a watershed election.  The future of the nation as founded was hanging precariously by a thread.  When Donald Trump declared his intention to run for president, he immediately vaulted to the top of the Republican field because he made it clear he would not follow in the footsteps of all the recent nominees.  It is significant that the two most iconoclastic candidates in a crowded 14-candidate Republican field, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, garnered 70% of the vote and 81% of the delegates during the primary season.

Now we are being told by the professional conservative class that Donald Trump has destroyed civility, and, as he is lacking in good character, he must, therefore, be cast out of the Oval Office.  On the contrary, Donald Trump is in the Oval Office because of the one-sided game of civility that the conservative intellectuals and the Republican Party hierarchy over the years have acquiesced to, because it was to their financial and narcissistic benefit to do so.  They are the primary reason Donald Trump is president.  The time for civility is over until the opposition either is defeated on the field of ideas and the ballot box or begins to behave as a civilized entity.

With the election of Donald Trump as president, the words “civility” and “character” have become among the most overused terms in current political discourse.  According to his adversaries, Trump grotesquely lacks these attributes.  However, over the past 30 years, the necessity of possessing and living by these traits has been limited to the Republican Party or conservatives in general.  The Democrats and the American left are exempt from this requirement.  

If Donald Trump had run for president and won as the nominee of the Democratic Party, his lack of character and rampant incivility would not be an issue, and in fact, those mannerisms would be praised as revealing a tenacious and determined personality.

How did this absurd double standard evolve?  It began in 1988 with the election of George H.W. Bush.  He won not on his own merits, but almost solely because he was the beneficiary of being the vice president during the two terms of Ronald Reagan – in many ways the most successful and popular president of the twentieth century.

The Bush family dynasty exemplifies the patrician attitude of holding oneself above the fray after fulfilling one’s pre-ordained obligation to society.  This may have been fine in the halcyon days of the past, when America’s future seemed limitless and those answering to the call of duty and their political adversaries alike were for the most part honorable people. 

The 1992 presidential election campaign of George H.W. Bush, in keeping with his penchant for civility, ran a lackluster campaign against Bill Clinton, relying instead on his record and sterling character.  Bush and the Republican National Committee, upon his instructions, never went for the jugular with Clinton, who was saddled with innumerable scandals and falsehoods. 

Clinton, not shackled by the niceties of civility, aggressively attacked Bush as being a liar, someone in league with the rich and powerful, and an essentially untrustworthy con man who also was up to his eyeballs in the Iran Contra Affair.  This charge was seemingly coordinated with Lawrence Walsh, the special prosecutor for the Iran Contra Affair, as a mere two weeks before the election, he indicted Caspar Weinberger, Bush’s secretary of defense.  Clinton, with a smirk and straight face, implied that Bush, despite his denials and lack of evidence, was complicit in the scandal.  Four weeks later, a federal district judge threw out the indictment, but the damage was done, and Bill Clinton was president for the next eight years.

While George H.W. Bush opened the door to civility as applicable to Republicans only, his son George W. Bush, also a decent and honorable person, cemented that premise in the body politic.  In his inaugural address in 2000, George W. Bush stated the following as he committed himself to adhering to the ideal of political civility: “Civility is not a tactic or a sentiment.  It is the determined choice of trust over cynicism, of community over chaos.”

These are fine and noble sentiments if all parties endeavor to follow them.  However, during his eight years in office, Bush was incessantly and falsely accused, by the Democrats, their allies in the media, and the left, of being the worst human being on Earth.  As he was a genocidal warmonger, one of the most racist presidents in history, and a prevaricator, as well as a misogynist and plutocrat, therefore he was someone who should be assassinated for the benefit of mankind.  But in keeping with his dedication to civility and reverence for the office, George W. Bush refused to respond or allow his subordinates to defend him in public against any of these charges, thereby allowing them to be cemented in the public psyche.  By the end of his term, his approval rating was the lowest ever recorded, and the Democrats as well as the left were emboldened with a new and highly successful tactic to destroy their opposition.

Not having learned their lesson from the George W. Bush experience – that the Democrats their allies in the media and the left would never campaign on issues, but instead primarily focus on personal destruction and incivility – the Republican Party in 2008 nominated the next man in line, John McCain – another candidate of character and integrity as well as a disciple of the Bush concept of civility and someone it was assumed the media liked.  He thus ran his presidential campaign as the model of civility and decorum against the neo-socialist Barack Obama.  The opposition, as expected, went scorched earth.

During the campaign, Democrats, using the playbook established to tear down George W. Bush, smeared John McCain, an American military hero, as a warmonger, an unapologetic racist, of having an affair with a lobbyist, of being a phony POW in Vietnam, and too old and scarred by his POW experience to be president.  Like Bush, McCain refused to aggressively fight back and take the offensive.  Unsurprisingly, he was soundly defeated by Barack Obama, thus opening the door for the extreme left to take over the Democratic Party and many of the levers of power in Washington, D.C.

In 2012, not to be outdone by nominating John McCain in 2008, the Republican Party chose to back another genuine, decent man of character.  The decision was made to back someone who was the personification of an Eagle Scout.  Surely, Mitt Romney, as he had no skeletons in his closet, could weather and avoid the character assassination tactics of the media and the Democrats while pursuing a civil discourse during the campaign.  Romney, being who he is, engaged in the same bland and civil campaign tactics of his predecessors: the two Georges Bush, Bob Dole, and John McCain.

However, it took little time for the left-wing forces arrayed against Romney to fire their volleys.  A new accusation was hurled as Romney and the Republicans were publicly compared to the Nazis by the Democrats.  Romney was also portrayed as a right-wing extremist, a congenital liar, and a corporate elitist whose only interest is protecting the wealthy.  Further, he was a sexist bordering on misogyny.  The always reliable charge of racism was naturally leveled at Romney.  And he was portrayed as not only a draft-dodger, but a wild-eyed warmonger.  By the end of the campaign, Romney, as George W. Bush and John McCain before him, was portrayed as being among the most reprehensible men on Earth.

Yet these gentlemen accepted this caricature with civility and grace while the country inexorably fell into the hands of the neo-socialists and radicals in the Democratic Party. 

The Tea Party movement was a direct response to the efforts of Obama and his henchmen culturally and economically transforming America.  More importantly, it was a gut reaction to the hierarchy of the Republican Party and its presidential candidates continuously surrendering on the battlefield, all the while waving the flag of civility – particularly as the other side was free to wage a scorched earth campaign without compunction, consequence, or push-back.

Rank-and-file Republicans and conservatives instinctively knew that 2016 was a watershed election.  The future of the nation as founded was hanging precariously by a thread.  When Donald Trump declared his intention to run for president, he immediately vaulted to the top of the Republican field because he made it clear he would not follow in the footsteps of all the recent nominees.  It is significant that the two most iconoclastic candidates in a crowded 14-candidate Republican field, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, garnered 70% of the vote and 81% of the delegates during the primary season.

Now we are being told by the professional conservative class that Donald Trump has destroyed civility, and, as he is lacking in good character, he must, therefore, be cast out of the Oval Office.  On the contrary, Donald Trump is in the Oval Office because of the one-sided game of civility that the conservative intellectuals and the Republican Party hierarchy over the years have acquiesced to, because it was to their financial and narcissistic benefit to do so.  They are the primary reason Donald Trump is president.  The time for civility is over until the opposition either is defeated on the field of ideas and the ballot box or begins to behave as a civilized entity.



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How Venice Film Fest Re-emerged as Oscar Launching Pad…


As the world’s oldest film festival turns 75, The Hollywood Reporter critic David  Rooney, a Lido regular for more than two decades, reflects on how the once-struggling event has transformed itself into an essential appointment on the awards-season calendar.

The grand old lady of European film festivals is turning 75, but you’d never know it from the buzz and vitality emanating from the annual Lido event in recent years.

The Venice Film Festival indeed is coming off a formidable run 
of editions that proved fortuitous markers on the road to awards-season glory. The fest’s past five lineups have yielded premieres of films that went on to be major players at the Oscars, among 
them Gravity, Spotlight, Birdman, La La Land and The Shape of Water.

Not a bad track record for a festival that not so long ago had become a staid also-ran in the long shadow of its more glittering French counterpart, Cannes.

Under the able stewardship of 
Venice fest director Alberto Barbera, the venerable event has fortified its relationship with 
the Hollywood studios, leading independent producers on both sides of the Atlantic and some of the most dynamic international filmmaking talents, notably the troika of Mexican mavericks: 
Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro G. Inarritu.

Where names like that go, others follow. The upcoming Venice fest (Aug. 29 through Sept. 8) comes after a fairly low-wattage edition of Cannes in May, when artistic director Thierry Fremaux to some extent shot himself 
in the foot with his protectionist stance on French theatrical distribution, shutting out all Netflix productions from the official competition.

With an increasing number 
of filmmakers finding streaming platforms a more viable option than studios to bankroll adventurous, non-mainstream projects, 
the exclusionary policy seems myopic. Cannes’ loss this year would appear to be Venice’s gain, with a record six films from 
the streaming giant set to premiere on the Lido, albeit amid some grumbling from the Italian cinema exhibitors association.

Whether the movies turn 
out to be major or minor entries, what festival wouldn’t want 
to debut new work from Cuaron (Roma), the Coen brothers (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs) and Paul Greengrass (22 July) in its competition? Into that mix add new films by Damien Chazelle (First Man), Luca Guadagnino (Suspiria), Olivier Assayas (Non-Fiction), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite) and Zhang Yimou (Shadow) and you have what looks on paper to be a banner year. For sheer star power alone, it’s hard to beat the premiere of Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born, which he headlines opposite Lady Gaga.

So is this lucky timing or careful planning? Actually, it’s a bit of both. Without resorting to offensive national stereotypes, Italy is 
rarely atop anyone’s list of the world’s most organized countries. But the genial, unflappably calm Barbera is more Northern Italian than Mediterranean, and he runs 
a tight ship.

Under his watch since his return to the festival in 2011 (following a previous stint from 
1999 to 2002), Venice has streamlined its sections and reworked 
its scheduling to allow festgoers to dip into as wide as possible a sampling from across the lineup. In terms of no-fuss accessibility, it’s on a par with Berlin. With better weather. And Venice is 
not so daunting in size that you come away feeling you’ve missed half the films everyone is talking about, as is often the case with the sprawling Toronto festival.

There’s also the atmosphere. Cannes may have the globe’s most glamorous red carpet, but the photo ops of A-list stars disembarking from private launches on the Hotel Excelsior dock offer a unique paparazzi feeding frenzy. Even the distance separating 
the talent from the gawkers in Venice somehow seems more intimate; the pomp and formality 
of many major film events evaporates amid the effusive cries of Italians chanting, “George! George! George!” (usually Clooney).

The principal venue for press screenings, the 1,500-seat Sala Darsena, which was fully renovated with upgraded technology 
in 2014, provides a state-of-the-
art alternative for those wanting 
to avoid all the red carpet star-spotting and speech-making 
of official screenings in the adjacent Palazzo del Cinema. I’ve been lucky enough to cover Venice since the early ’90s and have 
seen several artistic directors come and go, some leaving a 
deeper impression than others.

There was a time, toward the end of that decade — when DreamWorks and Paramount sent an entourage the size of a military regiment to accompany Saving Private Ryan — that the major U.S. players began mumbling about Venice becoming too expensive. Venice remains a big spend, but Barbera and his team have made significant efforts to beef up press ranks — everything from assisting with affordable accommodation options to setting up a bustling garden space with relatively low-cost eateries, bars and places just to chill between screenings on a warm late-summer night. That relaxed communal vibe represents a change from 15 or 20 years back, when the social hub of the festival tended to revolve more around the swanky Excelsior or the now sadly shuttered Hotel des Bains, the posh digs immortalized in Luchino Visconti’s Death in Venice.

But the big swing in terms 
of Venice’s privileged slot in the festival landscape has come 
with the gradual consolidation 
of the Hollywood awards season into a six-month strategic business. Venice’s position 
on the cusp of summer and fall gives it unmatchable clout as a launchpad that often functions synergistically with the overlapping Telluride and Toronto festivals. Just look at last year’s one-two-three punch of The Shape of Water, which sparked feverish excitement that carried it all 
the way to Oscar night in March.

Through good years and 
mediocre, the one constant at Venice has always been location. There’s something magical about motoring across the 
lagoon on a ferry and watching 
the light hit the buildings along 
the Grand Canal from afar as you punt toward the Lido, the long sandbar transformed overnight from a sleepy beach resort in the waning days of the season into a thrumming world cinema hub.

Leaving it behind can be just as memorable. Taking a water taxi along the deserted canals in the predawn light last year to make 
an early Toronto-bound flight, I 
already was thinking I couldn’t wait to come back.

This story first appeared in the Aug. 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.



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