OBAMA’S AMERICA: DOWNSIZING THE USA

UPDATE, AUGUST 28, 2012:

The Goddess opines on our “Movie Star” President over at the Temple! Check it out, she is always worth the time spent!!

UPDATE, AUGUST 25, 2012:

As of Friday 8/24/12,  2016 Obama’s America went into wider release around America today and is opening right now in first place at the domestic box office. That’s quite a feat since the Rocky Mountain Pictures political documentary is still playing in only 1,090 North American theaters – or about 1/3 as many theaters as actioner The Expendables 2 (3,355 theaters). Both online ticket-sellers Fandango and MovieTickets.com showed advance buying for 2016 Obama’s America were accounting for 35% to 28% respectively before this weekend. It’s the #2 biggest indie documenatry of the year behind only The Weinstein Company’s Bully ($3.2 million) and already the #12 political documentary of all time.  It will rise a lot higher in the rankings after this weekend!

To read full article at Deadline Hollywood, go here.

Continue on for my review of 2012: OBAMA’S AMERICA, below:

Film Review: 2012: Obama’s America

Dinesh D’Souza is a very smart and accomplished man.  President of The King’s College in New York City, the Mumbai-born and Dartmouth educated Phi Beta Kapa has authored 15 books; most recently “2012: Obama’s America: Unmaking the American Dream“.

Now he has added “filmmaker” to his resume, teaming-up with Gerald Molen (whose previous credits include “Schindler’s List”, “Jurassic Park” and “Rain Man”)  to bring this book’s message to the screen.

2016: Obama’s America is a compelling and courageous film. It does what the mainstream press has been afraid or uninterested in doing: it vetts Obama; revealing the man behind the self-created myth.

I had a chance to screen the film last week. No fan of the President’s, I entered the theater expecting to agree with Mr. D’ Sousa’s underlying thesis. What I didn’t expect was to be impressed with the quality of this film; nor to be so fascinated as the film takes the audience around the world, tracing both the President’s and his father’s footsteps to interview people who knew both; and can help to explain the enigma that is this, our 44th President.

In 2016: Obama’s America the filmmaker attempts to illuminate just what it is that motivates Barack Obama. “Love him or hate him, you don’t really know him”; that is the underlying premise here, and it is Dinesh D’Sousa’s challenge and motivation in making this film to finally vett the President.

Obama is, arguably, the least examined figure to ever occupy the White House.  Delighted to be able to vote for an apparently bright, likable and seemingly capable African-American candidate, the media (and the country in general) mostly gave Obama a pass in 2008. His past was glossed-over by most media outlets; and attempts to link the candidate to the truly unpalatable people or stated opinions in his past were summarily dismissed.

If, as Shakespear said, past is prologue, how much do we really know about Obama’s past? Who were the men who mentored and shaped him as he grew to manhood? What was he like in his youth and in college? What is his deeply held core beliefs? What are the influences that now drive him? Most Americans are ignorant as to the answers to these basic questions about our President.

D’Sousa attempts to remedy this; and what he reveals is deeply disturbing.

We see Obama as a young man who grew up worshipping the iconic image of an absentee father. This father was himself a tormented activist and intellectual; a man formed in the post-WWII ferment of colonial Africa. Who deeply despised the British Colonialists (something D’Sousa relates well to, having grown-up with an Indian grandfather who distrusted not just the British but “whites” in general!).

Obama’s mother was an odd-ball child of the 60s; whose left-of-center worldview complimented that of her Kenyan husband. Even after he deserted her and their son, she continued to revere the senior Barack Obama. She created for her son a mythic role model; the image of a champion fighting against the fundamental unfairness and oppression of the established, colonial order.

Growing-up, “Barry” was surrounded by anti-American/anti-Colonial influences. In his own words (all the more convincing coming  from Obama’s reading from the audio version of his book, “Dreams From My Father“) he chose his friends carefully: all people of the “left”, all on the fringe of the American mainstream, many communists and/or downright anarchists!

One figure who looms large in Obama’s youth was his  mentor, Frank Marshal Davis.

Davis was a member of the American Communist Party (yes, an actual card-carrying member!). He published various communist pamphlets and magazines; and, ultimately, the Chicago Star, a communist-front weekly. During the dark days of the Cold War, when America was engaged in a battle to the death with world-wide communism, Davis was considered so dangerous that the FBI had him on a list of suspected Soviet agents; who were to be arrested and taken into custody immediately should America go to war against the Soviet Union!

Seeking a mentor for his grandson, Obama’s grandfather introduced Davis to Barack. Understanding how controversial his connection with Davis might be, Obama never names him fully in his memoirs; only calling him “Frank”. Thus identified, Frank Marshal Davis is the mentor Obama mentions dozens of times in Dreams From My Father; far more than any other character from his formative years.

Davis is not the only person Obama was deeply associated with whose opinions are far outside the American mainstream. These are identified in the film and are numerous.

While in college, Obama’s Kenyan half-sister came to visit her brother. The father she knew in Kenya bore no resemblance to the hero of Obama’s imagination. Barack Obama Senior was an abusive, philandering alcoholic. Her revelation shook “Barry” to his core. His journey to Kenya in later years was an effort to reconcile the unpleasant truths about their father as his sister had recounted them with the portrait of the brave intellectual standing against colonial oppression painted by his mother. The epiphany he had while crying over his father’s grave was this: that he, Barack Obama Junior would become the man his mother had described his father as being, but never was. That he would adopt the “dreams from his father” and become the anti-colonial champion, an agent of change in a fundamentally unfair world.

That is what is at the heart of this movie and D’Souza’s thesis: That Barack Obama cannot be understood through the usual prism of left/right politics; nor that of Democrat party politics. He is unlike any politician to be elected to high office in America before, in this respect: he was not raised to see an America that is, as Reagan saw it, a “shining city on a hill”. Nor the last great hope for mankind, as Lincoln described it.

Barack Obama sees America as part of the system of colonial oppression that has looted the Third World of its wealth and resources. That has used this stolen wealth to build the prosperous lifestyles we enjoy in the Europe and America; leaving Africa and much of the rest of the world surviving off the crumbs from our table.

What comes across in the film is a man on a mission.

When Obama said he wanted to “fundamentally transform” America; to spread the wealth around (as he candidly told “Joe the Plumber”) he didn’t merely mean making America a more fair society for Americans. He meant to make the world a more fair place by redistributing some of America’s vast (and, to his mind, unfair) wealth to the rest of the world. To restore to the Third World some of the wealth and power colonialism stole from it. To “downsize” America; transforming it from neo-colonial “bully” to just one of many other nations sharing power more-or-less equally.

D’Sousa makes the case strongly.

How else, he asks, do we explain the inexplicable decisions made by this President? Such as closing down domestic oil production off of our  shore; while encouraging and subsidizing (to the tune of $2 billion) oil drilling by Brazil  and Peru off of their shores, and promising to be “their best customer”? Why else would he seek to cut over a trillion dollars from the defense budget; at a time when our ships, planes, and equipment are aging and in deep need of replacement and overhaul? (Our pilots are flying bombers as old or older than their grandfathers!) Why would he turn NASA’s prime mission from space exploration to one of  Muslim “outreach”?!

What also comes across in the film is the distance Obama has maintained between himself and his own brother in Kenya.

George Obama lives in abject poverty. Despite being a compassionate “progressive”, who in speeches tells us “we are all our brother’s keeper”; the President has seemingly little compassion for his own brother.

D’Sousa interviews George Obama in the film. The President’s half-brother (their father had several wives) comes across as a man of dignity and reason.

Obama has only met his brother once. Despite spending weeks in Kenya before becoming President, Obama only spared a few brief minutes to meet George. Since then, he has done nothing to ameliorate his brother’s impoverished condition. (To his credit, George Obama doesn’t expect brother Barack to help him financially: “I am a grown man, not one of his children”.)

Embarrassingly for the President, the point was driven home recently when George Obama’s son was in need of medical care beyond his ability to pay. Did he reach out to the boy’s uncle, millionaire and President of the United States Barack?

No.

George Obama reached out to the filmmaker, Dinesh D’Sousa! After verifying the truth behind George’s request, D’Sousa sent George $1,000 through Western Union.

For this, George was profusely grateful.  When asked by Dinesh why he had reached out to him, George Obama replied, “I have no one else to  ask.”  Then he said something that astonished D’Sousa:

“Dinesh, you are like a  brother to me.”

Apparently, in Obama’s world, we are only all our brother’s keeper when it comes to paying taxes; not when it comes to actual family!

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/08/16/how-became-george-obama-brother/print#ixzz247vNGQDm

The film’s title contains within a question: What is Obama’s plan for America?

D’Sousa asks why does Obama seem bent upon “downsizing” America and her role in the world; and what will America look like at the end of another Obama term?

The film addresses these questions in a logical, compelling and overall convincing fashion. They are questions worth asking, and in need of answering.

2016: Obama’s America does both. It deserves to be seen by every American, before they make up their minds about who to cast a ballot for in November.

Post Note:  Lonely Conservative points out that 2016: Obama’s America has a higher per/theater earnings than either the latest Batman or Borne films!

And over at the Temple, the Goddess has her own excellent take on the same subject!

DEMS PLACE HOPES ON DEMONIZING RYAN

Will a Weakened American Character Defeat Paul Ryan?

By DENNIS PRAGER, Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Democrats are hoping that older Americans are (irrationally) frightened by Medicare reform even though these reforms will not affect them

The Republican vice-presidential candidate, Congressman Paul Ryan, is the Democrats’ political version of the Anti-Christ. He believes in self-reliance; the left believes in reliance on the state. His moral values are shaped by religion (Catholicism); the left is frightened by religious Christian politicians (and athletes, and members of the armed forces, and talk show hosts, and, for that matter, clergy). He believes in individualism; the left believes in collectivism. He believes in small government and powerful citizens; the left believes in large government and dependent citizens.

Nevertheless, the Democratic Party claims to be overjoyed at his selection as the Republican vice-presidential nominee.

The Democrats’ glee — even if exaggerated — emanates from their belief that Americans will reject Ryan’s economic and social plans to reduce the American debt, unleash private economic growth (the only type there is), and reform unsustainable government programs such as Medicare.

Democrats believe that if Americans perceive that their entitlements may be affected — even if only beginning a decade from now, and even if the American debt is thereby cut by one-third, and even if they, as well as the country, will ultimately benefit — so many Americans have become so used to government benefits, the Republicans stand little chance of winning the upcoming elections.

In other words, and tragically, the left and Democrats are relying on the decline of the American character that left-wing policies have produced (not only here but in Latin America, Europe, and everywhere else). The Democrats are hoping that older Americans are (irrationally) frightened by Medicare reform even though these reforms will not affect them, and that younger Americans will likewise reject these reforms because they are counting on receiving Medicare as it now exists.

Left-wing social policies are predicated on giving more and more Americans more and more benefits and demanding less and less from them.

The left’s party, the Democratic Party, seeks to have the state pay for Americans’ health care, give record numbers of Americans food stamps (now in a form similar to ATM and credit cards so that no stigma be involved), provide their children with school meals and provide women with child care and contraceptives, while enabling more and more Americans to pay no federal taxes to pay for any of these benefits.

The negative impact these policies have had on the character of Americans is indisputable. Every parent — and probably most adults who are not parents — knows what giving things they have not earned and demanding nothing from them in return produces: spoiled children.

Left-wing, Democratic Party policies have negatively impacted the American character in another way. Whenever possible, the left and the Democrats have de-stigmatized irresponsible behavior.

One example is women who give birth to and raise children without fathers in their children’s lives. This past Sunday’s New York Times opinion section featured another attack on those who stigmatize out of wedlock birth and single motherhood.

Another example is the cultural left’s glorification of graffiti — once regarded as My fresh ass tagging!vandalism of public and private property — as “street art.”

A third example is how difficult the Democratic Party and the left-wing education establishment have made it for teachers and principals to discipline disruptive and foul-mouthed students. The Department of Education has just declared education the “civil rights” issue of our generation” because black students are disproportionately suspended and otherwise punished by school officials. The effect? Black young people who abuse their teachers and schools feel empowered to continue their anti-social behavior.

(Related story: World War II Veteran Badly Beaten and Robbed by Teenage Thugs

At the same time, the left works to weaken the single most effective device for character building in American history: Judeo-Christian religions. Increasingly, the American motto “In God We Trust” has been replaced by “In Government We Trust” and “In Experts We Trust.”

Since the Democrats could not win any national election with the votes of liberals alone — according to Gallup, self-described liberals constitute just 21 percent of the electorate — the great question of the 2012 American presidential election is this: Have the left and Democratic Party sufficiently weakened the character of enough Americans to enable the demonization of Paul Ryan to lead Barack Obama to victory?

I don’t believe so. But given the enormity of the national debt incurred by this administration, its spectacular failure to improve the nation’s economy, and its commitment to weakening American defense, if there were a better explanation for a Democratic victory, I would welcome it.

FANATICS, FASCISTS, OR IGNORAMUSES

Have you noticed that the agents of extremism tend to have a certain… Well,  unreasoning look in their eyes?

Today, in response to National Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, I trudged over to the local (Temecula, California) branch of this otherwise unremarkable chain. I say “otherwise unremarkable”; because today this seldom patronized restaurant was inundated with patrons!

Between the mob waiting to get in (estimated by my calibrated, expert eyeball to be tens-of-tens) and the ten or so Gay Activist standing aside and heckling; I was unable to amble in and order my usual chicken sandwich (by usual I mean once before 25 years ago).

If this I’m certain record turnout is roughly duplicated nationwide, we will know two things:

  1. First, that there are WAY more people offended at the attempt by Gay Activists and Left-Wing Democrats to punish Chick-Fill-A for its owner’s traditional stance on traditional marriage (he’s against changing it); and…
  2. That Mike Huckabee (who called for today’s show of support on his Fox television show) has WAY more influence than either of the two men currently running for the presidency!

But back to my original point.

The many Chick-Fil-A patrons today waiting to enter stood in the hot Temecula sun (and believe me when I say that the heat of the Temecula summer sun is only perhaps surpassed  by that of Equatorial Guinea, the Sahara Desert, and the surface of the sun itself!)  in cheerful, orderly lines. Which reached far out into the parking lot, and into the parking lot of the next two restaurants on the block!

The Gay Activists, on the other hand, stood shouting at them and (in one case) throwing plastic water bottles at passing cars!

Now, which group do you think had the light of reason in their eyes?

What was it that Chick-Fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy said that so aroused the ire of Democrat politicians (such as Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel) and these seldom-rational Gay Activists? Only what President Obama was saying until a few months ago (when he “evolved”): that he believes in traditional marriage as outlined in the Bible, the Torah, and the Koran (to mention three apparently bigoted Holy Books)! That is to say, between one man and one woman.

What he DIDN’T say is that he or Chick-Fil-A would not hire gays or serve gay patrons. Nor has there been accusations of such discrimination by Chick-Fil-A. Only that he, Dan Cathy, believes marriage should be between a man and a woman.

When did that become hate speech??

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I have a Gay/Lesbian sister and several Gay relatives. I also have a few Gay friends. I am personally very Gay friendly.

That said, the goofy bunch of fanatics, fascists, and ignoramuses that turned up to hurl water bottles and abuse at Chick-Fil-A customers do the “Gay cause” (if such a thing can be said to exist)  a disservice.

By unfairly targeting for destruction this otherwise exemplary, family owned business for the personal (and statistically mainstream) beliefs of its owner, they (those calling for boycotts, refusal of building permits, etc) have galvanized a tidal-wave of support for Chick-Fil-A.

Look at me: I don’t normally eat chicken sandwiches of any kind, and the last time I visited a Chick-Fil-A restaurant I think Reagan was still serving his first term! But today I made a special point of dropping by for lunch.

It’s not that I am against full and complete rights for Gay Americans.

I took the trouble of driving to the local Chick-Fil-A as a protest against what I see as a deeply un-American effort by Democrat political hacks and leftist radicals to punish Dave Cathy and his company for merely holding views that they don’t happen to share. It is ironic that the Left, which howls about being unfairly treated during the McCarthy era, now practices a reverse form of McCarthyism against those with whom they disagree.

What is particularly ironic (not to say hypocritical) is that while serving in the White House as President Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel endorsed his bosses support of traditional marriage; the very beliefs he now says are “incompatible” with Chicago beliefs.

Those dirty dozen protesting Chick-Fil-A and its patrons are either hard-core Gay Rights activists,  so fanatical they cannot tolerate any form of disagreement; or ignoramuses who didn’t bother to examine the facts before coming out in support of censorship and against free speech. Yes, against free speech: either Dave Cathy has the right to express what he believes without fear of reprisal, or the First Amendment (the Left’s favorite Amendment when its their unpalatable opinions being expressed) means nothing.

Those defending these activists’ actions will say, “Yes, but freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences”. That is a specious argument. The punishing of “incorrect” thought is an impulse that runs deeply throughout the left.The Left would by such actions create such a climate of fear that the free expression of ideas (contrary to their own) would be impossible.

It is a fascism that must be opposed whenever, and wherever it rears its head.

During the darkest days of WW-2, when Adolf Hitler turned upon and invaded his erstwhile ally, Stalin and the Soviet Union; British Prime Minister Winston Churchill  took to the floor of the House of Commons and complimented the Russians on their struggle. When asked about the apparent incongruity of a life-long anti-communist now praising Stalin, Churchill replied:

“If Mr. Hitler invaded hell I would at least make a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.”

And I, at least, would eat at Chick-Fil-A.