On Wednesday at the Beverly Hills Hotel I interviewed former Clinton prosecutor Ken Starr about his new book Contempt, before a lunch crowd of the Wednesday Morning Club. A good time was had by all. Here are a few pics...
Thursday, October 18, 2018
We are approaching the 40th anniversary of two shocking events that most people are unaware are linked: the assassinations of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Mosconi by disgruntled Supervisor Dan White in November, 1978, and – ten days later – the ghastly, bizarre murders and suicides of 918 cult followers at Jonestown, which constituted the largest loss of civilian life in American history (until the terrorist attacks of the morning of Sept. 11, 2001) and the largest mass suicide of the modern era.
These dark episodes have been brought back into the light in an investigative new page-turner titled by Daniel J. Flynn, also the author of The War on Football: Saving America’s Game, Blue Collar Intellectuals: When the Enlightened and the Everyman Elevated America, A Conservative History of the American Left, Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas, and Why the Left Hates America.
I interviewed the author via email about his just-released book, recently reviewed at FrontPage Mag .
Mark Tapson: Your book dispels some widely-held myths about both the murder of Harvey Milk and the Jonestown mass suicide. For example, Milk swiftly became a martyr for the gay community after his assassination, and the media helped promote this. What is the truth about Milk and about why Dan White targeted him?
Daniel J. Flynn: Looking to make sense of a senseless crime, gay activists immediately advanced a narrative that Dan White killed Harvey Milk because of his homosexuality. I interviewed White’s campaign manager, chief of staff, and business partner, a gay man, who rejects this thesis. As I detail in , White occasionally supported liberal causes, including some gay-rights measures, and generally thought of Milk as a friend during his short time on the board —particularly in the first few months. Harvey Milk’s homosexuality had as much to do with his murder as George Moscone’s heterosexuality had to do with his death.
Dan White murdered Harvey Milk because he believed that Milk had aggressively lobbied San Francisco Mayor George Moscone to prevent the supervisor from reclaiming the seat he had resigned from on the board. Moscone initially refused, in a very public way, to accept White’s resignation. But after Milk and others persuaded him to go back on the words he had uttered to the media Moscone decided to appoint someone more inclined to vote his way on the board. In other words, a petty man nursing a petty grievance lashed out against the two men he believed most responsible for denying him the $9,500-a-year job back from which he had recently resigned. He should have blamed himself. Instead, he blamed others—and sought revenge.
White felt betrayed by Milk and Moscone. Perhaps more importantly, he came to feel that in abruptly resigning he had inadvertently betrayed allies—their identities, importance, and the nature of their dependence on White which I will leave for a fuller explanation in the book. That’s part of the untold story. Another untold part of the story involves White’s history of violence. Out of my interviews came several shocking revelations and accusations involving White on this front. As Dianne Feinstein, White’s mentor on the board of supervisors, reflected long after the fact, “This had nothing to do with anybody’s sexual orientation.”
MT: Another myth stems from the favorable media coverage then and now about the Peoples Temple, which turned the Jonestown horror into a cautionary tale about the dangers of evangelical Christianity. What’s the truth about the Peoples Temple?
at 1:30:00 PM
Masked by innocuous language like “pro-choice” and “reproductive care,” and protected by a media conspiracy of silence, the grim reality of abortion rarely surfaces in our cultural awareness. But a new movie, drawn from a real-life courtroom drama that exposed what is arguably the deepest, darkest episode in American abortion history, is poised to have a dramatic impact.
Directed by openly conservative Justified star Nick Searcy, who does double-duty playing the role of the defense attorney, and written by novelist and political pundit Andrew Klavan, Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer is based on the riveting book written by investigative journalists and filmmakers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer. The husband-and-wife team are well-known for their controversial documentaries FrackNation and Not Evil Just Wrong, as well as for a play called Ferguson about the shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer. To produce this controversial film that pro-abortion Hollywood studios wouldn’t touch, McAleer and McElhinney miraculously crowdfunded over $2 million from over 30,000 investors composed of “average” citizens – more money than any film project in the history of the Indiegogo crowdfunding site.
Former TV Superman Dean Cain stars in the film as the Philadelphia narcotics investigator without whose dedication Dr. Kermit Gosnell, played with chilling normality by character actor Earl Billings, might still be butchering babies today. Cain’s real life alter ego exposed not only the shockingly filthy state of the abortion doctor’s clinic, but also the grotesque evil being undertaken there. In addition to manipulating ultrasound readings to falsify fetal ages in order to perform late-term abortions well beyond the state’s legal limit, Gosnell’s practices included killing babies that were born alive by plunging scissors into the backs of their necks and snipping the spinal cords. In one powerful scene in the movie, the camera lingers on each face of the jury as the members peruse photographs of such examples of Gosnell’s victims. That scene alone is enough to drive home the undeniably evil nature of abortion.
at 1:28:00 PM
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
“America stands anxiously on the cusp of an unknown future,” writes Matthew Hennessey in a new book titled . “We are about to get swamped by a millennial wave that has already started crashing hard into the worlds of business, politics, entertainment, religion, dating, medicine, and education.” Considering that millennials are the generation that seems eager to embrace socialism, limits on freedom of speech, and Amazon’s “Big Brother” Alexa in every home, this generational passing of the torch will have dramatic and adverse implications for the future of America as we know it. Matthew Hennessey’s thesis is that Generation X – which emerged between the baby boomers and millennials – must get its act together swiftly if there is to be any hope of a collective national redemption from baby boomer destruction and to avert the Brave New World into which millennials will usher us.
The author defines the parameters of the three relevant generations for the purposes of his book: “Baby boomers are those born roughly between 1946 and 1964. Generation Xers are those born roughly between 1965 and 1980. The millennials are those born roughly between 1981 and 1997… [They] are already the largest American generation, and they’re still growing due to immigration.” They are tech-obsessed, coddled by political correctness, and indifferent to the advance of corporate and government intrusion into every aspect of our increasingly digital lives.
Hennessey is the Associate Editor of Editorial Features at The Wall Street Journal and former Associate Editor at City Journal and Managing Editor at the Manhattan Institute. I connected with him to ask a few questions about the book, which I’ve read and strongly recommend.
Mark Tapson: In what ways has the baby boom generation “nearly destroyed America,” as you put it? You mention that baby boomers and millennials are “cut from the same cloth,” so what fresh hell, as Dorothy Parker would say, are we facing with the ascendancy of the millennial generation?
at 4:14:00 PM
Friday, July 27, 2018
In the fall of 2016, New York University professor Michael Rectenwald created an anonymous Twitter account to critique the alarming spread across campuses of an “anti-education and anti-intellectual” social justice ideology. Before long he was outed as the man behind the controversial account, and despite being a leftist himself, became the target of shunning and harassment from his colleagues and the NYU administration. But instead of caving in to the campus totalitarians as so many academics do, Rectenwald declared himself done with the Left, and though still not a conservative, began appearing often in right-wing media to defend free speech and academic freedom, and to expose the “bilious animosity and unrestrained cruelty” he endured from his former compatriots.
I previously interviewed Prof. Rectenwald for FrontPage Mag back in January. At the close of that interview he mentioned a book he was working on about the experience, and it is now available in and on : . Short but dense with insights about postmodern theory, social justice ideology, and academic conformity, the book is a must-read for understanding the intellectual collapse of the American university under the weight of a totalitarian ideology.
Rectenwald begins the book by relating his experience of “becoming deplorable” and being pushed toward apostasy, which forced him to reexamine the political herd with which he had formerly run. “I didn’t leave the left,” he writes. “The left left me,” echoing Ronald Reagan’s famous declaration, “I didn't leave the Democratic party. The Democratic Party left me.” “In trying to correct me,” Rectenwald writes about his fellow academics, “they did indeed correct me – but not as they’d hoped. They corrected my vision by forcibly dislodging the scales of their ideology from my eyes.” He realized that the “institutions of North American higher education have taken a hairpin turn, and a wrong turn at that. They have surrendered moral and political authority to some of the most virulent, self-righteous, and authoritarian activists among the contemporary left.”
at 8:20:00 PM
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
This week a Portland art gallery chose to display in its front window, facing the sidewalk at a busy intersection, a large black-and-white painting depicting the grisly decapitation of President Donald Trump. The painting is more than just another example of what a grotesque travesty modern artists have made of art. It is also a window into the left’s bloodlust and why progressivism is the totalitarian soulmate of Islamic fundamentalism.
The image at One Grand Art Gallery shows a hunting knife being drawn across the president’s neck as the executioner’s other hand grips Trump’s hair. Blood gushes from POTUS’ throat and streams from his nose while his eyes roll back in his head. Flames rise symbolically from an American flag pin on the president’s lapel, and the image is captioned in large capital letters, “FUCK TRUMP.”
This execrable excuse for art is so vile and violent that it could have been produced by ISIS. It actually was produced by an “artist” apparently named Compton Creep, whose personal displays extremely disturbing, gruesome samples of his literally satanic work. A local news reporter spoke with him about the Trump painting; art is meant to provoke thought, he said. Of course, this image is the opposite of thought-provoking; it is purely visceral agitprop, which is designed not to spark thought but to replace it with propagandized emotion.
at 12:46:00 AM
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Referring to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Congressional election victory last month, Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez said in a radio interview last week that the 28-year-old rising star from the Democratic Socialists of America represents "the future of our party." There is no other way to interpret this except as a direct admission that Democrats see socialism itself as the future of America, which will come as no surprise to anyone on the right.
Democrats love to dream about the future. The past is a tragic span of class oppression and the present is the workers’ revolution in progress, but the future is where it’s at. Like the proletariat heroes on Communist propaganda posters, leftists are fond of gazing off into the distance at a glorious
Shangri-Lahorizon . What they tend to downplay is the genocidal
totalitarianism necessary to pave the way for that new dawn – but hey, you can’t make the
ideal omelet without breaking a few million eggs.
The future as conceived by the left is always a utopian vision in which inconvenient human nature has been hammered (and sickled) into compliance and in which equality of outcome – except for the political elites at the top –is brutally enforced. It’s worth reminding ourselves here that the word “utopia,” coined in the 16th century by Sir Thomas More for his political satire of the same name, was a play on Greek words meaning “no place” – for that is where utopia is to be found. That is why the left insists on ruthlessly engineering reality and human nature in order to mold them to fit the dream – or else. And that is why the left always begins by declaring “We’re on the right side of history” and ends by blithely proclaiming, “We’ll get it right next time.” In between, the utopians leave behind a wasteland, an archipelago of gulags, and untold numbers of murdered victims and crushed spirits.
at 1:10:00 AM
Thursday, June 28, 2018
As Europe commits slow-motion suicide via a flood of Muslim migrants, and as Marxist mobs in America exploit the issue of immigrant family separation to advance their open-borders agenda, it is useful to step back from the hysteria and reflect on the bigger picture of the cultural history of the West and the inimical forces seeking to subvert it.
Michael Walsh’s compact new book provides that salutary perspective. A subtitle as grand as that promises a sweeping survey of the West’s artistic and intellectual heritage, as well as an insightful portrait of its enemies, and Walsh is one of the few writers who can deliver on that promise.
One would be hard-pressed to find another conservative intellectual, or intellectual of any political stripe, of Michael Walsh’s caliber. In terms of the depth and breadth of his familiarity with both high and low culture, only the iconoclastic Camille Paglia comes to mind as a rival. But Paglia isn’t also an American Book Award-winning novelist, journalist, distinguished classical music critic, and screenwriter. Walsh also writes political commentary for – among others – PJ Media, American Greatness, and the New York Post under both his own name and occasionally his alter ego David Kahane (). He also happens to be a friend of mine, but my praise is not simple favoritism; his accomplishments speak for themselves.
at 11:53:00 PM