Pages

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Michael Savage at the Four Seasons


The David Horowitz Freedom Center is hosting another Wednesday Morning Club luncheon this Thursday at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. I'll be introducing the speaker, radio talk show host and bestselling author Michael Savage.

Savage's new book is a very personal rumination on God, Faith, and Reason.

Check out the event details here.


Next month's WMC luncheon speaker will be the fearless journalist Melanie Phillips.

Confessions of an Islamophobe



With the possible exception of freedom fighter and European political party leader Geert Wilders, there is arguably no critic of Islam more despised and feared by the Religion of Peace’s apologists than the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s own Robert Spencer, director of the indispensable Jihad Watch website and the author of nearly twenty books.
Spencer is routinely labeled a so-called Islamophobe by those who conflate criticism of Islam with bigotry toward Muslims. This makes him the target of an astonishing amount of hatred and even threats of violence because our media and political elites have inflated the purported danger of “Islamophobia” to a degree of cultural concern greater than the danger of actual Islamic terrorism.
The George Soros-funded smear organization known as the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated the “extremist” Spencer “one of America’s most prolific and vociferous anti-Muslim propagandists” (note the use of the inflammatory terms “propagandist” and “anti-Muslim,” the latter of which falsely paints him as a hater of Muslims themselves rather than as a critic of the ideology).
His speaking engagements, when they are not disrupted by protesters or cancelled by those who refuse to debate him or even hear him out, require personal security to protect him from the violence of those who accuse him of inciting violence. After a presentation in Iceland earlier this year, Spencer was actually poisoned by a suspected opponent who wanted to silence him permanently.
Robert Spencer is certainly not alone in being branded an Islamophobe; he is simply one of the most prominent because he is the best-educated about Islam and the most relentless thorn in the side of those who would whitewash it. Any public critic of Islam’s demonstrably hateful, violent, and supremacist tenets risks being smeared by the ugly label.

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Fight of Our Lives

I'm very excited about this documentary that the David Horowitz Freedom Center is premiering in Santa Monica in 2 months. The Fight of Our Lives: Defeating the Ideological War Against the West features luminaries such as Niall Ferguson, Victor Davis Hanson, and many others on the internal and external threats to western civilization. I'm honored to be among the lineup as well, discussing the war on masculinity.

Documentary filmmaker Gloria Greenfield (Body and Soul: The State of the Jewish Nation and The Case for Israel - Democracy's Outpost, among other films) has put together a riveting discussion of the crucial fight we face today.

I'll have more news about this as time goes on. Meanwhile, if you'll be in the SoCal area on February 19th, do your best to attend this event in Santa Monica.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Are a Protective Father and a Sexual Harasser Equally Sexist?



In light of the recent #MeToo movement of women claiming to have experienced sexual harassment or assault – a movement whose members TIME magazine just collectively named its Person of the Year – one would think that Americans had united behind a crystal-clear moral perspective on such behavior. One would think that this perspective would recognize the obvious difference between men who are predators (bad) and men who are protectors (good). But then The Washington Post saw fit to post an opinion piece Sunday whose author declared that a father who sees himself as his daughter’s defender is objectifying her just as much as the pervert he wants to defend her from.
In her morally muddled piece “Paul Ryan and Harvey Weinstein are both ‘fathers of daughters,’” Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg says that when men begin a public condemnation of sexism with some variation of the phrase “As the father of daughters…,” it indicates that these fathers think they have some special appreciation for women because they have girl children, but they actually do not see women – even their own daughters – as “three-dimensional people worthy of respect and care.” Instead, they view them as prized possessions whose honor and virginity must be kept intact. “The focus is ever on her body parts, used or unused, available or protected,” writes Ruttenberg.
As an example, she takes Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan, who recently commented on the tsunami of sexual harassment accusations sweeping the country involving power players from Washington, D.C. to Hollywood.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Victor Davis Hanson at the Four Seasons

Once again I'll be introducing a speaker at a David Horowitz Freedom Center's Wednesday Morning Club event - this time the astute historian, agrarian, and political analyst Victor Davis Hanson, author of the new The Second World Wars, at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills.

 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Was John Wayne’s Masculine Image a Lie?



There is perhaps no manlier icon in Hollywood history than John Wayne. More than 40 years after his last film, he remains the cinematic apotheosis of the rugged, principled, red-blooded, tough-as-nails, frontier-conquering, patriotic American male. Not even Steve McQueen or Clint Eastwood can measure up to The Duke. But was Wayne’s masculine image a sham, and even worse, an ideal that no man could ever live up to?
The Atlantic’s Stephen Metcalf would like you to think so. In his recent “How John Wayne Became a Hollow Masculine Icon,” Metcalf writes about Nancy Schoenberger’s book Wayne and Ford: The Films, the Friendship, and the Forging of an American Hero, which explores the creative partnership of John Wayne and director John Ford. The dynamic duo made 23 pictures together, including Stagecoach (1939), The Searchers (1956), and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), which Metcalf concedes are among the best and most important Hollywood films ever made.
Schoenberger, an English professor at William & Mary, wrote that “the two men succeeded in defining an ideal of American masculinity that dominated for nearly half a century.” She argues that that masculine ideal “is still salvageable, honorable even,” writes Metcalf. “Stoic, humble, gallant, self-sufficient, loyal—put that way, who could disagree?”
Stephen Metcalf, that’s who. He claims that the oversensitive Ford, whom he implies was gay, “was terrified of his own feminine side, so he foisted a longed-for masculinity” on a supposedly reluctant Wayne, molding his hypermasculine image. Rather than be inspired by that image, Metcalf dismisses it contemptuously: “[M]asculinity (like the Western) is a by-product of nostalgia, a maudlin elegy for something that never existed—or worse, a masquerade that allows no man, not even John Wayne, to be comfortable in his own skin.”

Monday, December 4, 2017

‘Good Girls,’ Bad Boys, and Better Men



Ever since sexual harassment revelations about film producer Harvey Weinstein opened a floodgate for such scandals among the rich and powerful, some culture critics are suggesting that to eradicate such predatory behavior, we must raise boys to be more like girls.
Writing in “The Bad News on ‘Good Girls’” in last Friday’s New York Times, for example, contributor Jill Filipovic expressed frustration that, even though parents today claim they want their daughters to be strong and independent, there still exist “entrenched and often invisible gender biases” that nudge girls toward being “sweet and passive.” Meanwhile, boys are “raised to embrace risk-taking and aggression.” The result, she claims, is that women are socialized into staying home as mothers and homemakers, and men are encouraged to go out into the world and fill the roles of leaders and bosses.
Part of the reason for this, Filipovic says, is that “[g]irls are taught to protect themselves from predation, and they internalize the message that they are inherently vulnerable; boys move through the world not nearly as encumbered and certainly not seeing their own bodies as sources of weakness or objects for others’ desires.”
But the biological reality is that the weaker are inherently vulnerable to the stronger. Both girls and boys are vulnerable to predatory adults. The old are vulnerable to the young. Weaker boys are vulnerable to stronger boys. And yes, girls and women, generally speaking, are inherently vulnerable to boys or men who are, generally speaking, physically stronger and more aggressive. This is not simply a matter of how they are raised, although this certainly can be ameliorated to some extent by teaching girls from an early age how to defend themselves.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Threat Levels at Home and Abroad

I was honored recently to moderate a panel discussion on "Threat Levels Abroad" at the David Horowitz Freedom Center's annual Restoration Weekend in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The panel featured Sultan Knish blogger Daniel Greenfield, classics historian Bruce Thornton, Henry Jackson Society director Alan Mendoza, and China expert Gordon Chang.

It was a fascinating and wide-ranging discussion. Check out the video below...


Monday, November 6, 2017

Lido Pimienta Thinks Racially Segregating Her Audiences Will Fight Racism?



The broadly-labeled “world music” or “world beat” musical genre was enormously popular from the late ‘80s through the late ‘90s and, for me as a musician, exciting and inspirational. Musicians from Mali to Croatia to Brazil found themselves collaborating with the biggest First World pop stars of the day to produce uniquely multicultural sounds. Peter Gabriel powered whole albums with African drumming and duets with singer Youssou N’Dour, a superstar in Africa and Europe. Paul Simon recorded a South African-influenced album with musicians from that country, and he and Michael Jackson also recorded separately with the Brazilian samba-reggae group Olodum (which I drummed with myself in Carnaval in the mid-90s). Sting, having soared to fame with a group that fused rock and reggae, toured with percussionists of African and Caribbean roots and scored a hit with Algerian singer Cheb Mami in “Desert Rose.” Audiences ate it up.
None of that would be possible today, or at least popular, because an ugly current of racial totalitarianism has taken hold among many young people who would condemn the Western artists for cultural appropriation. The opportunities for such musical blends to knit disparate audiences together are disappearing, replaced by a militant tribal defensiveness.
When musical artists mix genres and collaborate in a way that promotes unity rather than division, there is no faster way to break down barriers of race, nationality, and gender and move people beyond the barricades of politics. The exciting energy such a creative partnership can generate brings people together more quickly, harmoniously, and organically than any other artistic or activist endeavor.
Conversely, nothing is more certain to wedge people further apart than using a musical performance to sow division and perpetuate resentment in an audience that otherwise is primed to seek common ground.

Why I Am Not Raising My Daughters to be Feminists



Huffpost reported recently on a project created by photographers and partners Sham Hinchey and Marzia Messina called “Dear Daughters,” in which 22 men posed for artsy portraits with their daughters, ages 8 to 11, and chatted informally but a little awkwardly with them about feminism. As you might expect from Huffpost, a half-hour video of the process depicts mostly “woke” grade-schoolers and hipster dads showing off their feminist consciousness for the camera without a trace of a diverse viewpoint.
In the video, fathers and daughters play a board game Hinchey and Messina invented to encourage discussion. The game featured such questions as “What worries you about bringing up girls in a male chauvinist world?” and “Name a woman you admire” (almost all the girls named Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama) and “Name all the stereotypes you can think of about boys and girls.”
“[C]hildren of this age start asking questions regarding social issues and it is interesting to watch them process news, trying to rationalize and decipher events which in their minds are absurd or unjust,” Messina told HuffPost. Yes, but a ten-year-old isn’t likely to have the wisest or most informed perspective on what is absurd or unjust – many adults don’t have it, for that matter. At that age, children are largely parroting what they have heard from parents and other adult influences such as teachers, particularly on complex political issues such as wages and the environment.
When one parent in the video tries to explain the concept of abortion to his daughter, for example, he glosses over the ugly reality of it and declares that what the issue boils down to is, “There’s a bunch of men in a room trying to tell women, ‘If you get pregnant, you have to have that baby.’” His daughter responds, “That’s messed up.” What’s messed up is the way he steered her toward the Progressive lie instead of guiding her toward the truth.