From the truncated shots of the actors in the opening scenes, we know we are in the hands of a director who believes that pretentious cinematography is a signifier of deep thought. We have been alerted that Israel, the mise en scene of this movie, is a fractured society comprised of many polarities: military culture vs poetry; Ashkenazi vs Sephardi (the Israeli version of racism); marriage vs divorce; innocence vs perversion - all of which will be played out during the course of the film.
Given my hobby as a connoisseur of really bad Republican candidates — I once wrote a prayer, begging God to allow milkman Jim Oberweis to run for office yet again, and it worked — I could not pass up the chance to handicap the field of Republican presidential hopefuls. Only 10 will be onstage at the first Republican debate in Cleveland this Thursday. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t examine them all.
It turns out the Iran nuke deal is a lot like the guy or gal you spy across the room at a dimly-lit party who from afar seems quite alluring — that is, until you get closer and realize the object of your affection isn’t what you had hoped for.
Phoenix, the name of a cabaret in post-war Berlin, serves additional duty as a metaphor for the protagonist’s rebirth and for the beginning of Germany’s national resurgence. Nina Hoss plays Nelly, a Jewish concentration camp survivor whose face was shot and shattered and whose post-war plastic surgery has rendered her difficult to recognize. This is a plot point that pivots the movie’s action and character revelations and unfortunately, it’s too unbelievable to sustain the set-up. Nelly reconnects with her husband who, believing her dead, doesn’t recognize her, even though her face shows all the surgical bruises and scars that suggest exactly what has happened to her. He hatches a scheme to dress and style her as if she were the “real” Nelly so that the two of them can claim the money owed her by the German government. During this crash coaching, it becomes clear that this woman has not only uncannily mastered Nelly’s handwriting but miraculously, fits into Nelly’s shoes. This last Cinderella factor is too over the top for us to continue suspending credulity in the husband’s failure to see the obvious. Imagine the prince, upon seeing Cinderella’s foot glide effortlessly into the glass slipper, simply scratching his head and saying “that’s strange.” It takes the most obvious symbol of the camps for the husband to have his “aha” moment which comes at the movie’s end.
when Michael Bloomberg tried to limit the size of soda to 16 oz cups in an effort to combat the national epidemic of obesity, he was reviled for his arrogant attempt to micro-manage people’s personal decisions regarding their appetites and health. Now the NY State Education Department has released new guidelines about how schools should treat transgender students. Among other questionable tactics is one that seems pregnant with the possibility of lawsuits over parental rights. Schools are advised to maintain student privacy about their gender identity at school - even to the point of withholding that information from parents if deemed necessary. So a school that needs parental consent on file in order to give Johnny an aspirin may decide not to tell his legal guardians who are totally responsible for his health and welfare that Johnny is registered as Janey, uses the girl’s bathroom and refers to himself as she.
We’ve seen the demolition of free speech on college campuses where concern for student sensitivity is so great that in addition to speech codes, we now have trigger warnings to give students time to prepare for the trauma of the words that are about to appear in their readings. (Think nigger in Huckleberry Finn) We’ve seen free speech die the death of politically correct sanctimony as one public figure after another has been forced to apologize for uttering a remark hurtful to some group under the liberal protectorate. Now, with Donald Trump’s offensive comments about Mexican illegals and John McCain, we are seeing the voluntary, pre-emptive surrender of large companies and corporations such as Macy’s and various network and cable channels to media-generated pressure. What connection could Macy’s possibly have with Trump’s remarks? Does it even sell the hair-product that keeps his comb-forward from toppling into his eyes? Hispanics who are offended by Trump would logically not vote for him were he to ever get the nomination, but would they favor Macy’s over Walmart because of Macy’s boycott of him? Surely most people shop where the prices and service are best, not where the corporation makes vain, unnecessary gestures of disapproval towards political wannabes.
One of the most troubling elements of the Iranian nuclear deal is the financial lifeline it throws to Tehran by lifting the punitive economic sanctions slapped on it because of bad behavior on atomic affairs.
If you’ve been reading the NY Times for the past month, you’d be forgiven for believing that transgender people have been living in North Korea instead of in America. There has been little or no mention of the numerous transgender people who are doctors, teachers or professors living solid upper middle-class lives with little distinction from the lives they lived prior to their sex change. The poster girl the Times picked for their nearly full-page editorial - “The Struggle of Transgender Workers,” (july 9th) is a masculine Puerto Rican man dressed as a woman in what looks like a Halloween fright wig and a dreadful dress. The Times mentions that Elaine Mendus, as she calls herself, studied at Indiana University in Pennsylvania but not that she has a degree, so the fact that she has difficulty in finding a job is understandable on many levels. If a hetero man without a college degree chose to wear a tee shirt and jeans when he went for job interviews, we wouldn’t classify his failure to get hired as discrimination. Similarly, a man who has not begun any medical transitioning, dressed as weird-looking woman might not be hired even by a transgender employer who took pride in her own appearance and that of her employees. An employment coach gave Ms. Mendus good advice to go on interviews as a man using the name that corresponded with her other papers; somehow this is reported as if it showed a lack of insight instead of a constructive attempt to be helpful.
Websites affiliated with Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad praised the recent spike in terrorist attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and encouraged further violence, the Middle East Monitoring and Research Service (MEMRI) reports.
Not since Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book, “In the Night Kitchen,” where Mickey gets thrown into the baker’s batter has baking assumed center stage as a plot device - until now, when extreme reactions have pitted small family owned businesses against the wrath of the LGBT lobby and some unfortunate interpretations of anti-discrimination law. In Oregon, a couple who own a small bakery were fined a hefty sum for declining to go against their religious beliefs by baking a cake for a gay wedding. For a moment, let’s put aside the question of their religion and pose some opposite scenarios: a gay couple declines to bake a birthday cake for a Catholic priest who has been outspoken against gay marriage; a black caterer refuses to do a party for the KKK; a Jewish holocaust survivor won’t print the invitations for a reunion of Nazis in America. Would these positions rankle State Divisions of Human Rights? Would these small businessmen be fined or forced to undergo “anti-discrimination” training for themselves and their employees? Wouldn’t public reaction more likely be to find another merchant who doesn’t have strong feelings about who pays him for his service instead of forcing every American to do work that is anathema to her conscience?
Like millions of other Americans, I spent last Sunday night watching the U.S. Women’s Soccer team show Japan — and the rest of the world — how it’s done. Our talented, gutsy women trounced Japan in the World Cup Final, 5-2, with superstar Carli Lloyd scoring an unbelievable three goals in the first 16 minutes. As the clock wound down, I was literally off my couch, jumping with pride as I watched our team hoist high the American flag in celebration. The women radiated pure joy, which was so contagious I could feel it in my living room.
One recurring theme over the past two years of the Crimea affair has been the invocation of Kosovo by reporters and pundits who barely remember the word. Surprisingly, Geraldo Rivera — despite having flown a helicopter for America’s terrorist allies the KLA — invoked Kosovo in the proper context last year on “The O’Reilly Factor,” saying, “Like it or not, Kosovo was the precedent for this.”
Let’s recall what made the United States exceptional from the start. It was designed as a nation of laws, not of men, built on the concepts of individual liberty and equal justice before the law, with freedoms ranging from speech to worship, and rights from gun ownership to assembly.
With the deadline pushed off until July 7, I’m betting that an Iran nuke deal actually will be trumpeted over the July 4 holiday weekend, since the best time to put out controversial news in Washington, D.C. is near or over a break.
I moved to LA from Georgia in 2000, to pursue fame, the bitch goddess, and in the intervening fifteen years I have observed the natives, in their natural habitat. What follows is my interpretation of the ultimate LA Family. Enjoy!
Dana Dusbiber, an English teacher at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, has come not to praise Shakespeare but to bury him. She won’t teach him to her students, she recently explained in a depressing op-ed screed in the Washington Post.
…”The cry of God’s people goes up once again from this city…war never again,” he said at a Mass for some 65,000 people at the stadium of the city that was once a symbol of ethnic and religious diversity in socialist Yugoslavia. This unwound in the war and Bosnia remains hamstrung by its legacy, divided along ethnic and religious lines…Earlier at a meeting with the three-member Bosnian presidency, Francis said peace initiatives between Bosnia’s Croats, Serbs and Bosniaks showed that “even the deepest wounds can be healed by purifying memories and firmly anchoring hopes in the future.” […]
“Testament of Youth,” the movie based on the memoir by Vera Britain who served as a volunteer nurse during World War I, might have been made in the ’50’s - so dated are its characters, its setting, its cinematography and its music which never fails to swell. In glorious Technicolor, there are more close-ups of the lovely Alicia Vikander than a family album - most with that same determined look that signals she is a person to be reckoned with. The dialogue is replete with such trenchant and insightful lines as ‘I want to write,” and “You must write!” uttered to our heroine after reading one of her youthful poems. The personal conflict consists of whether this feisty young Edwardian woman will get to go to Oxford and whether she will allow herself to fall in love after proclaiming that she has no wish to marry - ever. You will guess the answers to both without bothering to buy a ticket but in fairness, the movie draws us into the beautiful English countryside, the comfortable world of the affluent and the extremely photogenic actors with their perfectly clipped British accents. It then zeroes in on the newspaper headline of the Archduke Ferdinand’s assassination and we know where we are headed.
This past Cinco de Mayo, the eagle-eyed Ruth S. King, board member of Family Security Foundation and columnist for Americans for a Safe Israel’s Outpost, alerted me to what she called an “appalling whitewash of Albania in American Thinker.”