fatherof5 1 week ago on Letter - ‘America,’ the movie, worth seeing

Well, I tried to go in with an open mind, but the metaphor I came up with was like going to the dentist: you know if you just sit there for an hour or two you will most likely still be alive at the end. :)

I did try, though.

I took two pages of notes on a legal pad, which isn't easy in the dark. I relied on blind muscle memory and hoped my scribblings would be legible later.

The positives:

The production values are decent and Mr. D'Sousa successfully presents himself as the calm, reasoned, open-minded character in the story. The music does its job. It swells when we are supposed to feel patriotic, and it tenses up when we see pictures of Obama or any of the other godless radicals. (Most documentaries - left or right - use this technique to manipulate their audiences.)

The negatives:

I'm not saying this to be hyperbolic, but there is literally way too much to write here. If I were to focus in on three criticisms, it would be these:

First, D'Sousa explains how liberals view America as a thief, a bully, an imperialist, etc. (slavery, genocide, invasions, and so on). Then he interviews a few radical lefties, most of them probably out of context (but one who wouldn't mind dropping a bomb on America), and the implication is that THIS is how liberals think.

Second, after falsely establishing how liberals think, he proceeds to use a few anecdotal examples to explain how the slaves and the Indians, etc. didn't really have it as bad as we've been led to believe. And besides, they have casinos now.

Third, he explains how Saul Alinsky was a disciple of the mob and of Lucifer, and that Hilary Clinton and Barrack Obama are disciples of Alinsky. So, if a=b and b=c then a=c, right? (I saw it as the communicative property of community organizers.) His initial assumptions are sketchy and the conclusions he draws from them are worse, and frankly, silly.

In reality, the liberals I know have a complex view of America and its history. Even though Obama has spoken glowingly of "American Exceptionalism," most of us see the good and the bad and all of the stuff in between. We are proud of our nation's prosperity, our philanthropy and our ideals, but we lament the ways in which our nation has not always lived up to these ideals: Angry mobs shouting at buses of immigrant children, wars started through manipulated intelligence, science-denying politicians, powerful lobbyists crafting our nation's laws, etc..

Yes, we differ with conservatives on the role of government, on tax policy, on many social issues, and so on, but we aren't worshipers of Satan yearning for a godless, communist, totalitarian state. Nope, no one I know wants anything remotely like that.

But this documentary paints liberals as people I don't even recognize. By definition, then, this film is one giant straw man argument. I'd despise liberals too if we were as awful as is depicted by D'Sousa. But we bear little resemblance to his caricature.

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fatherof5 1 week ago on Letter - ‘America,’ the movie, worth seeing

Well, namvet, the content of the video looks pretty awful, but I will give you credit for posting a video. I'm not sure I know how to do that. :)

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fatherof5 1 week ago on Letter - Border trouble created by Obama

This is funny. The Obama/Lucifer connection was in D'Sousa's documentary, which I saw last night. I walked out of the theater thinking, "You know what, I bet there are people out there who will actually come away believing Obama is devoted to Satan." Then I shook my head, thinking, "No, they aren't that far gone."

I was wrong. Sigh...

And by the way, the "little" money Obama requested for border security was a measly $1.1 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and $433 million to Customs and Border Protection. $300 million was to the State Department to ramp up the "don't come here" campaign. Just under half was to help the children. (It was helping the foreign children that must have been the most offensive part.)

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fatherof5 1 week, 1 day ago on Letter - ‘America,’ the movie, worth seeing

Having now seen it, I agree with many of your observations, though not surprisingly, we differ on some. I'll try to share more on a new thread below when I have time later today.

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fatherof5 1 week, 1 day ago on Letter - ‘America,’ the movie, worth seeing

There is no doubt Moore has a point of view. I just didn't see anything in "Sicko" that contradicted statistics I've seen elsewhere. It illustrated that for all the money we throw at healthcare in America, we struggle to compete with many other developed nations when it comes to access, affordability, and outcomes.

I grant that Moore does have a way of making a spectacle sometimes, which I think angers his critics. I felt uneasy when he confronted an elderly and overmatched Charlton Heston in "Bowling for Columbine," even though the points Moore was making about gun violence and children was valid. "Sicko" was pretty factually grounded, as far as I could tell. "Fahrenheit 911" engaged in more speculation and "gotcha" moments as I recall, but it's been many years since I've seen it.

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fatherof5 1 week, 1 day ago on Letter - ‘America,’ the movie, worth seeing

Well, there is something we agree on. I also looked at the movies that are playing today - and will likely see "America" - albeit begrudgingly. Outside of "Planet of the Apes," which is pretty good for its genre, the rest of the films look awful.

On a side note, if it ever comes to Walla Walla, let me suggest "Boyhood" as a film to see. It was shot over the course of TWELVE years with the same cast growing older along with their characters. It focuses on a 6-year-old boy who is 18 by the end of the film. With 38 reviews, it has scored a 99/100 on metacritic.com, which is higher than I've ever seen for a film. Here's the link: http://www.metacritic.com/movie/boyhood

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fatherof5 1 week, 1 day ago on Letter - ‘America,’ the movie, worth seeing

Namvet, you must be pleased then that our president has more than cut the deficit in half. If we could just repeal a few of those tax cuts for the wealthy, eliminate some corporate tax loopholes, and invest in our economic growth, we might get to a surplus before too long.

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fatherof5 1 week, 2 days ago on Letter - ‘America,’ the movie, worth seeing

pdywgn, people can become scholarly with a limited formal education, just as people with impressive degrees can be con artists.

Here are three more links from non-liberal sources to add to this conversation:

  1. You alluded to Obama's undocumented educational history. Here's a factcheck.org report on that: http://www.factcheck.org/2012/07/obamas-sealed-records/

  2. A strong critic of Obama's in The Weekly Standard, a magazine consistently critical of Obama, nonetheless acknowledges Obama's Magna Cum Laude grad status from Harvard Law and how well he was viewed there: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/316vvyov.asp

  3. More germaine to the conversation is this review from an Obama critic who found "America" to be dishonest in a number of ways. Here is his review from a very conservative, yet intellectually honest perspective: http://www.forbes.com/sites/johntamny/2014/07/20/dinesh-dsouzas-america-will-have-some-conservatives-yearning-for-michael-moores/

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