6.3 billion reasons to close the border, and 50.4 trillion to leave it open.

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The Coming Storm.

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The storm darkening our horizon is the most dangerous any living American has seen, and unless we change course, America as we know her is finished.

In the months since our last mass shooting I’ve been to town halls and listened to Congressman and others pledge their opposition to any and all red-flag laws…no red flags — period! — to thunderous applause. They moved me to write Armed America — Part 1 to prod gunless people to think about people with guns, and people with guns to think about people without them.

I’m pessimistic about our future, particularly since Medium embargoed Part 1. It’s invisible, not even searchable. That’s how things are in America now. …


Does this gun make you crazy?

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Close-up, a .223 Remington cartridge.

Years ago a friend screened a trailcam video for me. It showed a bear snoozing in the woods as an ATV and rider approached. I steeled myself for what I assumed would be a tragedy. But instead of attacking, the bear simply peered over its log as the rider buzzed past, a paw’s length away.

I couldn’t help wondering how often I’d been within paw’s reach of a bear without knowing it. From then on I spent no time in the woods without a gun. Not that I harbor bears any ill will, but how could they know that? …


You wont’ just love it, you’ll want a sequel!

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“Tel Aviv on Fire” Poster

Don’t let your politics (or lack thereof) or the “foreign” stamp on this film stop you. It won’t matter if you can’t speak Hebrew or Arabic or French, you will still understand every character and every minute of this year’s Seattle International Film Festival winner.

“Tel Aviv on Fire” is set in the seemingly intractable Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and superficially that’s what it’s about, a deliciously unexpected faux drama, real comedy about how much we’re alike, whether we want to admit it or not.

The politically woke folks in Seattle may have accepted it expecting a political statement, but that’s not…


A small film about little people that will leave you smiling.

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Every once in awhile someone makes a film that’s not about radioactive superpowers, royal court treachery, wars won or lost, civilizations destroyed, dying planets and monstrous profits. And every once in awhile a film like that gets distribution and people get to see it. “Wild Rose” is almost that.

Critics and audiences are raving about “Wild Rose”, but its R rating means you’re unlikely to see it at your neighborhood multiplex. We could debate the wisdom of a ratings system that allows tweens to see people shot, stabbed, crushed and blown up, but won’t let them see an adult smoking…


Was the dumbest man on radio right about Iraq?

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Talk radio doesn’t promote brilliance.

Its standard format straps stars to their microphones three hours a weekday, and if those stars didn’t speak until they had something brilliant to say, we’d likely be stuck listening to fifteen hours of dead air each week, broken up by commercials for which soon no one would pay, and it is about the money.

So no matter how circular or mundane, the stars talk, and talk, and keep on talking in mostly pedestrian, and less than pedestrian rants, during which they frequently contradict themselves (like dogs catching their tales) and when they run out…


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The film “Chappaquiddick” tells a damning lie. The book “Chappaquiddick Speaks” tells an even more damning truth.


Critics called it one of America’s 100 best films. Viewers…not so much, proving filmmakers control what we see, but not how we see it.

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One of many “The Wild Bunch” posters

1969 was a wonderful year in film. “Drugstore Cowboy” won the Best Picture Oscar, (John Schlesinger won Best Director, Waldo Salt won Best Adapted Screenplay.) and “Z” won the Best Foreign Picture Oscar.

Bill Goldman’s “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” won Best Original Screenplay, (Conrad Hall won for cinematography.) Maggie Smith won for “The Prime of Miss Jean Brody”, Goldie Hawn (Yes, that Goldie Hawn.) won an Oscar for “Cactus Flower”, Gig Young won for “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” and John Wayne (finally) took home an Oscar for “True Grit”.

“Hello Dolly”, “Sweet Charity”, “Paint Your Wagon”, “Alice’s…


You can’t choose your enemies, but if they’re determined to fight, you can choose your ground.

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Chief Justice John Roberts swears in President Donald J. Trump

Forty-seven percent of our population may forgive themselves for not knowing what their primary sources of information haven’t told them, but they’ll continue demanding Donald J. Trump be impeached for unknown high crimes and misdemeanors and assailing the honesty and intelligence of the other fifty-three percent until Trump’s gone. (And in a twist, Mike Pence lands in the White House. Democrats haven’t been this enthusiastic about a conservative Republican since millions of them voted for Ronald Reagan…)

Like it or not, we’re at war with ourselves, and won’t be satisfied until we’ve slugged it out. Half of us endorse the…


There are two reasons to see “Unplanned”: To flip off the MPAA, and learn to speak intelligently about abortion.

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“Unplanned” Movie Poster

Update — “Unplanned” opens to a $6.1 million first weekend.

You may not have heard of it, since the major television networks (except Fox) have refused to broadcast its ads, and almost no critics have reviewed it, but despite the ad and critical embargo “Unplanned”, the $6 million film about one woman’s experience with Planned Parenthood opens nationwide today.

I almost didn’t see or review it. Abortion and Planned Parenthood (separate issues in reality as well as in the film) don’t strike me as entertaining, and life’s too short and I’m too busy to see the world’s best films, let alone the less than best ones.

But the treatment the…

Penseur Rodinson

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