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Sunday, September 11, 2022

The Right Take podcast interview with Michael Walsh

 

Here is episode #2 of my new podcast, this one an interview with author, screenwriter, culture critic and pundit Michael Walsh about cultural Marxism, the state of masculinity, and much more.

Friday, September 9, 2022

The Right Take podcast interview with Heather Mac Donald

 
The first 3 episodes of my podcast "The Right Take" are up on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Here's the first one, a conversation with author Heather Mac Donald about the "diversity delusion" and the social justice corruption of the medical field.
 
Please forgive the audio issues in this one -- we corrected them in later episodes -- and just enjoy her brilliance.
 
As of this coming Monday 9/12, you will also be able to hear my podcast episodes directly at FrontPageMag.com.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

The Movie Conservatives Have Been Waiting For is Here

The movie that conservative audiences have been waiting for is here. And by that I don’t just mean that yesterday was the eagerly-anticipated premiere of My Son Hunter, the Robert Davi-directed dark comedy about Joe Biden’s wayward son and his laptop from hell. I mean that this is the political film that finally sets a new bar for conservative filmmaking, far above the heavy-handed messaging and awkward acting that right-leaning audiences have generally had to settle for in the recent past.

You have never seen a conservative film quite like this. Produced by Phelim McAleer and Anne McIlhenny (FrackNation, Gosnell, The Obamagate Movie) and written by screenwriter/novelist Brian Godawa (To End All Wars, The Obamagate Movie), My Son Hunter careens – like a drunken Hunter himself – from comedy to tragedy, from family drama to high-level political corruption, from moral brokenness to moral courage. Surprising stylistic quirks abound, including word balloons onscreen and characters breaking the “fourth wall” to address the audience directly. And yes, just like Hunter’s life, there is an almost nonstop parade of hookers, drugs, and shady deals – hence the R rating that sadly may discourage some conservative moviegoers (Movieguide gives My Son Hunter an “Excellent” rating but advises “extreme caution” due to “immoral carnal behavior, images of women in skimpy outfits, and strong foul language”). The Daily Mail reported overhearing one viewer at a private screening describing the film as “Not your mother's conservative movie.”

The plot centers on Teflon Addict Hunter Biden, played by British actor Laurence Fox (Gosford Park, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The Frankenstein Chronicles), and his terrified realization that the personal laptop he carelessly forgot to pick up from a repair shop could derail his father’s presidential campaign. A hooker who has captured Hunter’s heart offers to help him spin the publicity, but in order to do that, she needs to know all the potentially damaging material on that computer. As the sordid contents reveal the depth and breadth of Biden family corruption, the hooker comes to a slow political revelation.  

Friday, September 2, 2022

The Bullies of Woke

Totalitarian Cancel Culture, the bullying trans lobby, and the race-mongering indoctrination of Critical Race Theorists, among other leftist assaults on society, have turned daily life into everyday battlefields for normal Americans who stand in the way of Progressive social engineering.

To address this ubiquitous, corrosive phenomenon, Canadian author Diane Bederman has written Bullies of Woke and Their Assault on Mental Health just published by New English Review Press. Ms. Bederman is also the author of Back to the Ethic: Reclaiming Western Values, The Serpent and the Red Thread: The Definitive Biography of Evil, and The #IslamophobiaIndustry: The Insidious Infiltration of Islam into the West, all of which I have either reviewed or interviewed her about (see links) for FrontPage Mag.

Bullies of Woke documents the serious damage that bellicose leftist activists are wreaking upon the mental health of our children, who are subjected in schools and in the culture at large to unrelenting pressure to conform to, if not actually celebrate, woke ideology. In many cases our children are literally being bullied to death – committing suicide because they are unable to handle the aggressive bullying from the fanatical proponents of Progressive-driven movements such as Critical Race Theory, transgenderism, and Cancel Culture. Bullies of Woke is simultaneously a guidebook to the modern woke movement and a call to action for the silent majority to push back and restore common sense and bedrock Judeo-Christian values in our homes, our schools, and our nations in the West.

I asked Ms. Bederman some questions about her new book.

Mark Tapson:           Diane, your book covers a lot of ground and many questions come to mind, but let me just begin by asking what inspired you to view the left’s ideological assaults of Cancel Culture, Critical Race Theory, and the like through the lens of its impact on the West’s mental health?

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Finding Hope Amid Global Persecution

In a recent FrontPage Mag article, Shillman Fellow Raymond Ibrahim noted that a new study found that more than half (54%) of the Americans surveyed believe religious freedom is eroding in the United States, and an even larger number (59%) believe that the treatment of Christians and intolerance for their beliefs are getting worse. This echoes the warnings of journalist Rod Dreher, author of Live Not By Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents, who insists that the “soft totalitarianism” already here in America will inevitably lead to increasingly harsh persecution of the Christian community. That community, Dreher urges, needs to prepare itself accordingly, even for the possibility of martyrdom.

Unfortunately, many Christians in America suffer from an “it couldn’t happen here” naiveté and the sort of complacency that generally afflicts the affluent, free West. Too many of us are unaware – because the overwhelmingly secular mainstream media largely ignores this crisis – that Christianity is the most-persecuted religion worldwide. The shocking reality for Christians in regions where the powers-that-be are violently hostile to them should not only galvanize us into taking action to help those victims, but also wake us up to the growing threat here at home. It must be stressed that this is an issue that impacts all of us who value the right of religious freedom, not just Christian believers.

To gain an eye-opening understanding of the dire circumstances for Christians around the world, the Family Research Council has released a necessary new book by my friend Lela Gilbert, Arielle Del Turco, and retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin titled Heroic Faith: Hope Amid Global Persecution.

Lela Gilbert is a prolific and award-winning writer who has authored or co-authored more than sixty books, including the critically-acclaimed Saturday People, Sunday People: Israel through the Eyes of a Christian Sojourner, which was listed as one of the 20 best non-fiction Jewish books of 2012, and more recently, Baroness Cox, Eyewitness to a Broken World, released in November 2021. She serves as Senior Fellow for International Religious Freedom at Family Research Council and as a Fellow at the Hudson Institute, working with the Center for Religious Freedom. She writes for Newsweek, Jerusalem Post, Fox News, and elsewhere.

I posed some questions to Lela about the new book.

Inside the Horror of Islamic Sex Slavery - and the Real War on Women

Last week marked the seventh annual commemoration of the Yazidi genocide, though you wouldn’t know it from watching establishment media. Nor would you know that there is an ongoing genocide of Christians taking place in Nigeria, nor that throughout the Islamic world countless women and girls are enduring kidnapping, forced marriages, forced conversions of Christians to Islam, genocidal rape, and/or widespread sex trafficking even in countries that are supposedly our allies in the War on Terror.

To keep abreast of these crises, one needs to seek out the work of such concerned journalists as the Freedom Center’s own Raymond Ibrahim or Dutch journalist Sonja Dahlmans, who work desperately to bring international attention to the plight of the victims of an actual war on women.

I recently interviewed Ms. Dahlmans about these issues. She currently writes (in Dutch only) for the conservative political news site PAL NWS, and is studying Islam at the Melbourne School of Theology, where she will be starting her thesis.

For those readers who would like to help make a change - and to participate in the effort to protecting and liberating the victims of Islamic Jihad, sex slavery and rape, please contact Sonja on her Twitter at: @SonjaDahlmans.

Mark Tapson: Sonja, please tell us what the focus of your journalistic work has been in recent years, and why you’re passionate about it.

Sonja Dahlmans: I focus mainly on Christian persecution, but I have also written about persecution of the Yazidis in Iraq and Syria and of Hindu girls in Pakistan. Women and girls from these groups are often targeted in Islamic countries or regions. The abduction, rape, forced marriage and forced conversion (to Islam) of non-Muslim women and girls is a widespread problem. This is the subject I write about the most, because I am afraid it is still underestimated, although lately there has been more attention to it. Unfortunately not often in the mainstream media, the subject is almost only discussed on Christian (or other religious minority) pages or reports.

MT: This past week was another annual commemoration of the Yazidi genocide, but it’s not over, is it? Western media give this little attention, but there are still literally thousands of women and girls missing today, aren’t there?

SD: No, it is not over at all. First of all, ISIS is still active in Iraq and Syria as we have seen for example in Syria (last February) when they helped jihadists within al-Sina prison to escape. There are so called sleeper cells too and they still carry out attacks. With regard to the Yazidi women and girls that they took captive, there are still around 2.700 of them in the hands of ISIS, or at least they are missing and we don't know where they are. This is devastating for them and their families, as you can imagine. While there is only a little attention to this, the Yazidi women and girls that are probably still in the hands of ISIS, let's not forget that there are also Christian women and girls who were taken by ISIS and are still missing. That is a subject you hardly hear anything about, but it does not mean it doesn't exist. 

I still hear and read that women and girls are being bought back, sometimes for a lot of money, and brought back to their families. This is really gruesome; these men, jihadists, have already earned money by trading these women, sexually exploiting them, and now earn money by selling them back to their own communities. There should be a lot more media coverage on this; it is not over, not by far for these victims and their families. 

Defenders of the West

Historiography has been dominated in recent decades almost exclusively by leftists determined to take a wrecking ball to the glorious edifice of Western civilization in the name of social justice and multiculturalism. New York Times propagandist Nikole Hannah-Jones of the widely-debunked but nonetheless influential 1619 Project comes to mind. The coordinated mission of such activists has been to pervert and subvert the grand narrative of our culture into a sordid tale of oppression, exploitation, and white supremacy, and to brand all our flawed heroes as racists and knock them off their pedestals, both figuratively and literally.

This is one reason why the new book Defenders of the West: The Christian Heroes Who Stood Against Islam, by historian Raymond Ibrahim, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, is such a refreshing, even thrilling read. As if the title alone weren’t guaranteed to inflame Progressive sensibilities, the book is unabashedly dedicated to “all the Past, Present, and Future Defenders of that which is Good, Right, and True.” Standing up for the Good, the Right, and the True (capitalized, no less) in our postmodern, post-Christian era? That’s a bold, increasingly rare position for any historian and publisher (Bombardier Books, in this case) to take today.

Defenders is a sort of follow-up to Ibrahim’s essential 2018 book Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West. That book centered on decisive battles in the clash of civilizations, while the newer one zeroes in on the profiles of eight decisive men in that ongoing conflict, between the 11th and 15th centuries, from Spain’s El Cid and England’s Richard Lionheart to lesser-known but no less heroic figures such as France’s Saint Louis and the “Albanian Braveheart” Skanderbeg.

As in Sword and Scimitar, the foreword to Defenders was written by renowned historian Victor Davis Hanson, who actually served as Ibrahim’s Master’s thesis advisor in the late ‘90s. Hanson says of the men in Ibrahim’s latest, “In what now may seem an archaic sensibility, they were fighting for a unique way of life—or often a restoration of it—against a rising challenge completely foreign to everything in their experience, from the aspirations voiced on the Sermon of the Mount to Classical traditions of individual liberty.” Ibrahim himself explains that the book is about “eight men who, driven by something greater than themselves, devoted much of their lives and went to great lengths… to make a militant if not desperate stand against Islamic aggression.”

Guns and Masculinity

In opening comments Wednesday for the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on so-called “assault weapons,” Democrat Senator and gun-confiscation enthusiast Dick Durbin threatened that it is “time to name and shame” the makers of AR-15s, the rifle Democrats have demonized as “weapons of war.” Gun manufacturers aren’t the trigger-pullers behind mass shootings, but they are a much easier and more politically useful scapegoat to target than the criminally insane minds of the actual shooters. Democrats aren’t interested in ending gun violence anyway; if they were, they would be holding hearings on the shootings perpetrated by gang members in Democrat-run inner cities, by terrorists, and by the criminally insane. What they want to end is not gun violence but gun ownership.

Sitting with posters of AR-15 advertisements placed prominently behind him, Durbin claimed hyperbolically that there have been “309 mass shootings” in the United States so far in 2022. “Why are these killing machines flying off the shelves after they were banned for a decade, until 2004?” he asked rhetorically. "Maybe it’s the ads that market the ‘assault weapons.’ Symbols of independence, freedom, or the promise that owning an AR-15-style-gun will make you more of a man. Or could it be the enticing prospect of toting around the same style of weapon that soldiers and Marines use to defend our country in combat?"

Let’s break down this sneering statement, because it is very revealing of the Left’s perspective on guns and masculinity, both of which the Left would like to eradicate.

First of all, there is the obvious propaganda of the loaded (pardon the pun) terminology like “killing machines” and “assault weapons” to refer to tools that are more often used to stop or prevent killing and assaults. Second, what's wrong with an advertisement and a product that appeal to one’s desire for independence, freedom, and the capability to defend one’s home and community? Nothing to the average American patriot, but they run against the grain of the average leftist’s totalitarian impulse for control.

As for owning an AR-15 making you “more of a man,” Durbin meant it as a taunt to suggest that male gun owners are insecure about their masculinity. But in fact – and this assertion will cause the heads of feminists and proud non-binary types to explode – owning a firearm actually does make one more of a man. One of the universal duties of manhood is to fulfill the role of protector. Having the capability (such as a firearm), the training, and the will to stand up and protect your life, your loved ones, your property, and your community is a clear marker of moral masculinity. Not in the swaggering way of someone looking to pick a fight, but in the quiet strength and confidence of a man who understands, respects, and is capable of wielding the power of righteous force. In that sense, owning a firearm and being trained and ready to use it when necessary does indeed make you more of a man than someone who willfully abdicates that responsibility.  

Lockdown: The Socialist Plan to Take Away Your Freedom

When COVID-19 first reared its ugly head a mere couple of years ago (seems like much longer, doesn’t it?), the Trump-hating Left recognized that here was a crisis too good to waste, to paraphrase Obama’s former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. As Cheryl Chumley observes in her new book Lockdown: The Socialist Plan to Take Away Your Freedom, “Democrats, progressives, globalists, collectivists, socialists, and Marxists saw opportunity to reshape an entire world.” Lockdown, from Humanix Books, is her damning overview of how the power-lusting Left manipulated and exploited the pandemic to kickstart their Great Socialist Reset.

Chumley is the online opinion editor for The Washington Times, an Army vet, a journalist, and author – most previously (2020) of Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise or America Will Fall. If you are unfamiliar with her writing, Ms. Chumley pulls no punches in her takedowns of the Left, and makes no apologies for her Christian perspective on political events. She is not reticent about identifying as “evil” the forces wreaking ruin in the world today; nor is she vague about their aim: leftists “want total and complete lockdowns of individual freedoms, individual rights, individually held liberties so they can stage their reset and reshape a new America, a new world, more in line with their collectivist and elitist beliefs. It’s called destroy, then rebuild. What they’re destroying is the Constitution; what they’re trying to rebuild is cultural Marxism and communist control.”

Along those lines, she bluntly states that, in the COVID pandemic, “Democrats saw opportunity to control. To expand power. To rule. To crush. To subjugate. To usher in political reforms, economic changes, and societal shifts of such magnitude that even a Trump term two couldn’t undo.” This agenda, Chumley correctly writes, is “shameless, despicable, and outright evil.”

After that forceful opening, Chumley goes on to break down the Left’s pandemic strategy in chapters devoted to: the media-driven fear-mongering that herded Americans into lockdowns and mask mandates; the targeting of children to mold collectivist thinking in impressionable young minds; the narrative that true patriotism means conformity to government command; the takeover of the health care field; the push to expand climate change legislation and a “green” economy; and more. Along the way she slams billionaire globalist technocrats like subversive philanthropist Bill Gates and evil mastermind Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum, men who are funding the collectivist reshaping of every aspect of our society.

A Conservative Professor Fights UCLA's Bias - and Wins

It is a given today that our so-called institutions of higher learning are hostile to political conservatives, not only students but the minority of professors who openly lean Right. Even Progressive academics can find themselves targeted by Cancel Culture for minor or accidental transgressions against woke dogma. The punishment can range from “mere” ostracization, to a hopelessly smeared reputation, to the loss of one’s job – usually a combination thereof. It’s ugly and totalitarian, which is why any moral victory against the Left’s ideological intolerance is a blow for freedom of speech and political balance in the classroom.

Keith Fink – a successful attorney, legal commentator, academic, and author –was a Communications Studies lecturer at the University of California Los Angeles from 2008 until his forced departure in June 2017. His courses on “Race, Sex & Politics: Free Speech on Campus;” “Free Speech in the Workplace;” “Entertainment Law;” and “Arguing Contemporary Social Issues” were among the students’ most popular ones at UCLA. But Fink is politically conservative and an ardent, fair-minded advocate for truth, so a confrontation with the school’s Progressive administrators was inevitable.

In early 2017, Professor Fink found, for the first time in his experience, that his Department of Communication Studies was beginning to deny his PTEs (“permission-to-enroll” forms for students whose attendance in a class, for a variety of reasons, requires a professor’s approval). And it was clear he was being singled out. Even the school paper The Daily Bruin acknowledged that other professors in the department had no difficulties getting their PTEs approved. Fink, his TAs (teaching assistants), and even some students suspected the source of the problem was the reportedly leftist new Chair of the Department of Communication Studies, Kerri Johnson, who also arbitrarily decided to cap the size of the conservative Fink’s overflowing classes.

Austin Kaidi, a UCLA alumnus who has served as Fink’s TA, noted at the time that the room in which Fink taught “Communications Studies 167” held 292 seats, yet only 200 of the 241 students who attempted to join the class that year were able to enroll. Kaidi told The College Fix, “For the past five years, Professor Fink has been able to educate large numbers of students without any problems. However one quarter after the Communication Studies appoints a chairwoman with incredibly left-leaning ideals, Professor Fink, the only outspoken conservative in the department, is singled out, his PTE’s are revoked, and his future classes are limited.”