Deb and I watched a movie last night. Her cousin had loaned us a DVD copy of one of his favorites and, after discovering that we couldn’t cast playback wirelessly to one of Ernie’s “smart” TVs, we set my computer between us on the bed and watched it that way.

Lawless (2012) is based on a true story, as chronicled in the book, The Wettest County in the World. Set in Prohibition-era Virginia, it portrays the war between the bootlegging Bondurant brothers and ruthless revenuers, with a dash of Chicago Mob and a dollop of Dunkards (Old German Baptist Brethren) thrown in. The film is rough, gritty and violent. Though Lawless isn’t as great as it wants to be, the acting is excellent, individually and as an ensemble, and the movie kept me entertained throughout.

I’ll also say this — if you watch Lawless and don’t find yourself identifying with the moonshiners, I have absolutely no use for you.

That would include a well-known movie critic, the late Roger Ebert.

For the record, I don’t look at reviews until after I’ve seen a film, read a book or whatever. This morning I found Ebert’s take on this flick, which began,

“Lawless’ is a well-made film about ignorant and violent people.”

Well, alrighty then. He concluded:

“‘Lawless’ takes pains to inform us it’s based on a true story, and… I believe it’s based on facts. I wish it were based on insights. The movie’s publicity tells us: ‘Brazen and fearless, these young rebel brothers helped build the American Dream.’ I don’t even want to think about that.”

Sounds like the triggered critic needed a puppy, a lump of Play-Doh and a safe space.

It may surprise some readers to learn that Roger Ebert wasn’t a card-carrying leftist — often he could be found on the side of constitutional liberties, defending the likes of Rand Paul. His review of Lawless, however, reveals that he was an elitist, insisting that a film about a different culture in a different time be twisted into a morality tale that suited his “evolved” sensibilities.

So, were the Bondurant brothers “ignorant”? Far from it — they not only thrived in their own world, but they schooled the outside world on matters of family, honor, sacrifice and balls.

(That’s an inside joke.)

If you haven’t seen Lawless, I recommend you find it and watch it.

“It is not the violence that sets a man apart, alright? It’s the distance that he is prepared to go.”

“We’re survivors. We control the fear. And without the fear, we are all as good as dead.
Do you understand?”

Forrest Bondurant, Lawless

Americans are feeling a lot of pressure right now, both financial and cultural, and I think it’s important to recognize what’s at the root of it. To do that, however, first we have to quit buying that we’re at the mercy of events — “conventional wisdom,” perpetuated by captive media, gets in the way of our understanding what’s really going on.

We can dismiss, for example, that Russia invading Ukraine is to blame for unprecedented gas prices. (The national average is $4.17 today, and it’ll keep going up.) We should reject the absurd argument that rising crime, record-setting murder rates, the war on cops and out-of-control overdose deaths are the inevitable result of the “pandemic.” These and other convenient explanations don’t pass The Smell Test.

But if we can’t rely on the cause-effect we’re being spoon-fed, what’s behind all this? Consider what I suggested two-and-a-half years ago:

“If Trump loses we’ll see violence from the Left, but of the celebratory, vindictive kind. It’ll kick off four years (at least) of the emboldened victors setting fire — literally and figuratively — to American life and culture. When the smoke clears, what remains will not resemble our country as we once knew it. Progressives will see to that.”

Everything happening right now is intentional. It’s calculated. Every “crisis” — and the calamity that follows — either is exploited for political ends or it’s manufactured outright.

If you and your family are feeling pain, it’s because you’re a target. This regime’s agenda is meant to be punitive. You’re being punished for your traditional values, for driving a pickup truck (or a motorhome), for expecting secure borders, for demanding that crime be prosecuted.

Last March, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called it a “sprint to radicalism”:

“…They don’t want to protect your America. They want to create an alternative America. … So when you and I talk about, ‘Why would they do this [to] America?’ it’s because they really want a radically different country.”

The best illustration of that, it seems to me, are the daily performances of the current White House spokesginger. She’s not merely a mouthpiece — she’s a true believer, Goebbels in drag. A disciple of Alinsky and practiced in disinformation, she engages in gaslighting as naturally as honest Americans eat a sandwich.

All of this is made possible by a shallow, uncurious and entitled populace. For evidence, look no further than the “overwhelming public opinion” that supports the current occupant of the Oval Office today cutting off imports of Russian oil and natural gas.

He didn’t take responsibility for damage he’s done to America’s domestic energy production, blatantly lying about how much oil we’re producing (compared to two years ago). He threw shade on oil companies for price-gouging, another lie.

Of course, he didn’t green-light Keystone or drop the bans on new drilling leases. The only sensible course of action would’ve been to restore domestic production before pulling the plug on Russian oil, but what he did was equivalent to Sheriff Bart (Blazing Saddles) putting a gun to his own head. “Overwhelming public opinion” allowed him to get away with that.

See, everybody’s waving Ukrainian flags these days. Everybody says they “stand with Ukraine.” It’s easy to do and, with few exceptions, it means nothing — it’s just more virtue-signaling. All it accomplishes is to give license to The Political Elite to pursue an agenda and, if this goes the way I suspect it will, to prosecute a war.

I still believe that America has no business being directly involved in this conflict. (That includes enforcing a “no-fly zone.”) We have no compelling national-security interest.

We don’t, that is, until we do. If the current regime keeps bungling things — here as well as over there — it’ll end up creating a national-security interest.

Presto, World War III.

America could stay out of that. We could buttress our national security by producing our own energy, growing our own food, producing our own fertilizers, distilling our own vodka and securing our own damned borders.

The Ruling Class shows little interest in any of that, and by ignoring it they’re sabotaging the strength of the most exceptional nation on Earth.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB

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