09/1/11

Why Conservatives Don’t Support Political Movies

By: Jason Ivey
Tea Party Tribune

In the wake of ‘The Undefeated’s’ financial fizzle at the box office (this was the Sarah Palin documentary), Christian Toto begged the question at Daily Caller and Big Hollywood that puzzles conservative movie lovers every time an ‘Atlas Shrugged’ or ‘American Carol’ passes in and out of the box office system with nary a whimper: why don’t conservatives support conservative movies?

Mr. Toto found possible explanations in sub-par production values and lackluster acting, but added these faults don’t stop trashy juggernauts like ‘The Hangover 2,’ nor does it explain the relative success of religious-oriented fare.

If I understand Mr. Toto correctly, and this is not a criticism, he seems to be less interested in finding an answer than in lightly reprimanding conservatives for their failure to get out and vote with their wallets. “If we don’t support this stuff…” he prodded. I would agree that the box office receipts for ‘Atlas Shrugged’ and ‘The Undefeated’ are unlikely to force studio executives to sit up straight in their armchairs and exclaim: “My God, what have we been doing?”

My theory is this: conservatives don’t like overtly political movies. We conservatives, by our very natures, don’t like politics and only participate, not out of an ideological desire to change the world, but in defense of life, liberty and Western Civilization and all it has provided. Politics is a necessary evil, not a way of life.

Perhaps the reason conservatives have been underrepresented in areas like media, entertainment and government for so long is due to people of this nature simply living their lives, working their way up the proverbial ladder and raising families – not attempting to alter the fabric of society through ideological influence on a mass scale. When we do seek distinctly conservative media content, we tend to find it in the form of talk radio and the written word, probably because the philosophical content is more suited to contemplative thought, whereas film and music are more emotion-based mediums.

Judging by box office receipts, liberals in large numbers don’t seem to like overtly political movies either. For instance, Hollywood seems to make far more anti-war movies than the ticket-buying public is willing to support. 2009’s Best Picture winner, ‘The Hurt Locker,’ grossed only $17 million domestically, finishing behind 115 other movies that year and other left-wing anti-war films like ‘Lions for Lambs’ and ‘Stop-Loss’ also tanked in recent years when comic book and fantasy franchises have flourished. However, Michael Moore’s documentaries and others of this ilk tend to find an audience in a way liberal talk radio never has.

Conservatives actually do support conservative movies and have always done so. Adjusted for inflation, the top 20 all-time grossing movies list includes all three original Star Wars movies, ‘Gone with the Wind,’ ‘The Sound of Music,’ ‘The Ten Commandments,’ ‘Ben-Hur,’ ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ ‘Snow White,’ and ‘101 Dalmatians.’ Looking at the top 30, you’ll find more recent conservative favorites like ‘Forrest Gump’ and ‘The Dark Knight.’ While these wouldn’t necessarily all be considered “conservative” movies, and wouldn’t be considered political, most possess the classic good vs. evil storyline, and are for the most part life-affirming and extolling of traditional Western values. Movies like ‘Avatar,’ with its environmental agenda, are the exception, not the rule. In recent years, movies like ‘Gran Torino’ have enjoyed large success at the box office, despite being ignored by liberal award committees and ‘The Lives of Others’ topped National Review’s 2009 list of all-time conservative movies for good reason. For every liberal classic favorite like ‘Inherit the Wind,’ there are a dozen with values more closely resembling a movie like ‘Patton.’

Many, if not most, of the movies on the all-time list that would qualify as wholesome, pro-American or pro-Western Civilization entertainment, were undoubtedly produced by, written by, directed by and starred in by self-professed liberals. Perhaps some of them are confused or conflicted liberals, or perhaps they were just giving the middle-brow bourgeoisie what they wanted. It’s more likely, however, that universal truths have always been and will always be popular with the largest numbers of people. These types of stories are simply more inspiring to tell and more exhilarating to watch.

And just as conservatives and liberals can both agree Nazis are bad, there are certain undeniable, objective truths that liberals who seek truth cannot ignore, no matter how hard they try. Whether they’re animated features like the ‘Toy Story’ series or adolescent fantasies like ‘Harry Potter,’ there’s a humanity clearly evident in these most successful of franchises. Wholesome, family-friendly films may not be considered distinctly conservative, but they tend to do very well at the box office and tend to appeal to conservative sensibilities.

We can quibble with lists like National Review’s and conservatives and liberals can both find interpretations or read into movies that seem to suit their worldviews. The bottom line is that message movies, and certainly movies made purely for the coastal elite crowd, flounder far more often than not. Older, left-wing message movies like ‘Coming Home’ and ‘The China Syndrome,’ or really anything starring a Fonda, seem naïve and dated when viewed 30, 40 or 50 years later. Most of the traditionally wholesome movies on the all-time list, however, maintain a sense of timelessness and many of these are still widely popular today and get rediscovered and loved by new generations of fans.

Conservatives have always rewarded well-made films that don’t offend their sensibilities and have turned movies that celebrate the goodness of individuals and the best of our values into all-time classics. These movies possess the ability to entertain and captivate, often in their portrayal of basic human decency in the face of various forms of evil.

After all, despite who made it, we conservatives crave something life-affirming and good in our art and entertainment and we will usually reward them with our wallets.

09/1/11

Storm or Apocalypse? Just Leads to More Questions

By: Benjamin Smith
Tea Party Tribune

We just went through a hurricane that was big and yes there was damage. This is not about the storm or its victims… It’s about the Media handling of the message.

They got it whipped up into quite frenzy didn’t they? It was just another day in Wilmington, NC, prep for a small Cat 1 is business as usual. There was more talk about the media’s coverage and how something was wrong with the media, weather service and governance. They know better.

The ‘end of the world scenario’ the media painted seems crazily overdramatized. Think about the world stage for a moment… by watching our news coverage of the storm, what would you think if you were looking on from another country?

Let’s look past the fact a large storm was indeed hitting the east coast and focus on the fear in the anchors’ voices and their demands and pleas for evacuation. It was sickening to me. They were freaked out!
My inner monologue went something like… “Who gave the microphone to the crazy guy in the room?” Anyone deciding to stay in their houses were mocked as stupid or downright crazy.

Anchors, weathermen and other experts used words and phrases like ‘killer storm’ and ‘catastrophic.’ They likened it to the power of a nuclear blast and told us to ‘escape while you still can,’ ‘catastrophe is imminent…’

Listen to Jim Cantore (He is a Legend in his own mind; a has-been who never was!). He tried to command as authoritative and tried to exert leadership – acting like we must heed his every word… Just because he is a Meteorologist with muscles, doesn’t make his forecasts for impending doom correct… the weather channel seems to have sold out to the Main Stream Media? Big Government? It got sensational.

Down here on the Eastern seaboard, residents know what to look for and know what’s going to happen. Based on past knowledge, we know not to panic and realize what to do in order to be ready. Our experience allows us to stay calm and not panic and make the best deduction as to our proper course of action. As a town preparing for an event like this, we are self-reliant and know what to do as a community to get through it. We have a plan.

The fear and frenzy interviewers and producers wanted was not being portrayed in the general populous around most areas. If you noticed, interviews became less and less with the people who have been in hurricanes because they were relaxed and prepared, they were also properly predicting the storms downgrade.
Now look at the aftermath. Is the damage proportionate to the threat the media touted it to be?

My heart does go out to the families who lost loved ones and those out of power and who have lost property and fortunes. But the fact still remains, the media freaked out!

The media is supposed to watch out for us, represent us and be a watchdog to the government.

It is common knowledge that the Main Stream Media is a lacky for the administration. Do they have our best interests in mind? Rhom Emanual comes to mind with his divulsion of a strategy that is evident “NEVER LET A GOOD CRISIS GO TO WASTE!” Could this be happening here? Departure from self reliance to government reliance?

But for the entire weekend, people in other states had their news bombarded by a storm that didn’t live up to the hype and other important media coverage suffered. All national news was on the hurricane, my mother was in California (a place that has no hurricanes) and she had to turn the news off because there was nothing else on other than the impending doom.

As a country, are we as scared as the authorities and media sounded or are we being misrepresented?

For news outlets, knowing the weekly news cycle and how stories are buried at the end of them (thank you Beck for educating us on that), what else happened in the world?

I remember mention of Libya (we are in a non-war there right?) Yemen (more non-war?) I remember Isreal got attacked and fought back, haven’t heard anything sinse hurricane coverage started. Significant news was breaking in Libya, Yemen and other places. I heard something about Libya – Quadaffi’s gone. Wasn’t there things happening in Yemen? I even believe Israel was attacked and they retaliated pretty harshly… did we hear anything about that (not to mention the Tea Party Express bus tour started…)

Who’s really deciding what stories get covered and what gets hyped or not? Who’s feeding the American people the news they ‘need’ to hear and who is calling the shots?

09/1/11

Chevron Awarded $96 Million in Arbitration Claim Against Corrupt Government of Ecuador

By: Bob McCarty
Bob McCarty Writes

After publishing more than three-dozen posts since April 22, 2009, about the $113 billion environmental lawsuit against Chevron in Ecuador, I can finally report good news for truth, justice and the American way: An international arbitration tribunal has awarded Chevron Corporation and Texaco Petroleum Company $96 million in a claim against Ecuador related to past oil operations by Texaco Petroleum, which is now a Chevron subsidiary.

Below is the text of the entire news release about this legal victory, courtesy of Chevron [Note: Click on any of the graphics I’ve sprinkled in the news release below to read some of my best pieces about this case]:

An international arbitration tribunal has awarded Chevron Corporation and Texaco Petroleum Company $96 million in a claim against Ecuador related to past oil operations by Texaco Petroleum, which is now a Chevron subsidiary. The tribunal, administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, found that Ecuador’s courts violated international law through their significant delays in ruling on certain commercial disputes between Texaco Petroleum and the Ecuadorian government. The final award also takes into account taxes, compound interest, and costs associated with the preliminary award announced in March 2010.

Read more at Bob McCarty Writes…

09/1/11

My Declaration of Self-Ownership

By: Dave Perkins
Tea Party Tribune

C.S. Lewis taught me a lesson of which I’m reminded almost daily. It isn’t so much that we need to be taught complex new intellectual ideas to advance us into the future; what we need is to have basic, simple, eternal truths repeated regularly to us so we don’t forget them.

Many people I have met in my post-2008 “right wing nutjob” activism phase are genuinely puzzled about what I believe. They have not been taught first principles and they don’t know anything at all about the history that applies to the debate on limited government. They go through the standard left wing checklist about me:

“Anarchist? No, because he has a pocket constitution and says he believes in the rule of law. Nihilist? No, because he’s talking about rebuilding the country he loves, whatever he thinks that means. Racist? Well, he has black friends and black people speak at his tea parties. Greedy evil rich guy? Well, if he were rich, surely he’d dress better. Monster, vampire, zombie? But he seems like such a nice man.” If they are decent people (and many left wing people have genuinely good hearts and good intentions), they just don’t know what to make of me. I don’t fit the template pressed down upon the tea party by the MSM and the panicking politicians of the left and center.

But how to tell them who I am…?

If I sense a genuine opportunity, an open mind and heart, I go straight to a first principle of being human. I ask my new acquaintance, “do you own yourself?” Often they do not initially understand the question and so I ask again, “do you own yourself, or does the government or your employer or someone else own you?” It’s a simple enough question and after the initial suspicion that it’s some kind of trick, the answer eventually comes comes back, “I own myself.”

And we all do own ourselves. It is the principle justification for abolition of slavery. If we own ourselves, then it is impossible for another person to own us.

Then I ask “do you own the labor you can do? Do you own your work output?” Because this is the crucial test of ownership of ourselves. You see, if we own property, the proof of our ownership lies in our ability to sell it and receive and own the compensation for it. The compensation, usually money, then belongs to us, as the property belonged to us. Value for value. But when the property that we own is ourselves, the market value is to be found in the work that we do.

Now I do NOT mean that he who cannot or does not work, is therefore a person of no value. I am talking about market value, the kind of value that others will want and for which they will exchange other things of value. Labor is the part of you that you can sell on the market; it proves your ownership of yourself. If you find that the value of your work is taken from you against your will, then your right (natural right, God given, as the founders would put it) of ownership of yourself is being violated. Your work is a piece of your life, a time-limited life in which only so much work can be done. Taking your work, against your will, without compensation, is stealing a piece of you. Slavery, by definition, is theft of labor. Owning a slave was an economic negative, with the ongoing expense of food and clothing and maintenance. The offsetting value for the slave owner was the work that the slaves could do.

If we own our work, then we can legally exchange value for value, exchange our work for compensation, and keep and own the compensation. And of course, in our historical age, compensation for work is usually money, so – when I work for money, the money is mine, because my work is mine, because I own myself.

This is the beginning of understanding the problems plaguing the country and the world today. If solutions are to be found and implemented, they must begin here, with human ownership of self as a natural, inherent, and yes, God given right. And if my new acquaintance has a functioning intellect, his eyes widen and the questions kick in; how much tax is too much? How do we agree on it? Does anyone have a right to live off the labor of others in perpetuity? What are the limits of government? I am not here today to offer answers to these questions, only to point out that the premises on which they have been answered in the past hundred years are faulty. Today’s leadership on the left, and (sadly) even the center right, ponders these questions based on a premise from which the founders would recoil; that some people have a right to steal the labor of others. Some will protest that it’s only a fraction, it’s 25% or 40% or 50%. Be reasonable, they’ll say. Not ALL of the value of a person’s labor is stolen, just what is needed. For fairness.

But either you own yourself or you do not. Either government is limited, or it is unlimited. Fractional ownership of self, said fraction determined by others not accountable to you, in back rooms behind closed doors, making decisions about how much of your life they will steal from you against your will, is not ownership of self. If it’s 50% today, it could be 95% tomorrow and you would be helpless, because you had long ago passively ceded your right to participate in that decision.

I am a human being BEFORE I am an American. I own myself, and I demand my right to have some input into decisions regarding the amount of myself I reluctantly hand over in order to fund the necessary evil called government. I demand it obey the Constitution, respect the limits the Constitution places on it and live within its means. Most of all, I demand that my government humbly acknowledge that a tax dollar is in reality a piece of life, of MY life, a piece taken from a life that is time limited. I demand to be assured by my own eyes and ears that my government does not regard me contemptuously as livestock, a cow to be milked. I demand my government RESPECT MY LABOR and set about doing its work with a high priority on taking as little from me as it can possibly manage. From here, we begin to answer all the other questions.

I am a human being, and this is my declaration of self-ownership.

09/1/11

Mutual Admiration. Sincerely meant.

By: Andrea Shea King
The Radio Patriot

From Liberty News…

Pro Funny Man Brings Laughter to Tea Party Express V.

Posted by Lloyd Marcus on September 1, 2011 at 12:26am

Labriola / Bachmann photo courtesy Andrea Shea King Jim Labriola from the “Home Improvement” TV sitcom has been a wonderful addition to our Tea Party Express V national bus tour team. Jimmy’s comedic family friendly monologues are a hit with the patriots at our rallies.
With most of Hollywood being hardcore liberals, conservative actor/comedian Jim Labriola is a breath of fresh air.

One of our two tour buses was under repair causing the twelve member administrative crew to pile on the entertainers bus for the two mile ride to the hotel. It was uncomfortable.

Jimmy spontaneously went into a hilarious monologue worthy of a Jim Labriola TV Special. My stomach contracted so much from laughter, I had a great ab workout. As corny as this might sound, we truly are a family on Tea Party Express. Jimmy masterfully used his gift of humor to bring us a little bit closer together.

Hey Jimmy, you should market an exercise video, “The Jim Labriola Ab Workout: Laugh Your Way to Great Abs”.

We just completed our Tea Party Express rally in Sioux City, IA. This morning I logged on my computer to read, “Obama: The Unemployed Are Being Discriminated Against”.

Obama and company never changes their play book to get-their-way. They always divide Americans into victimized groups saying they are either disenfranchised or discriminated against.

Last night, we arrived early enough in Omaha, NE for me to do laundry. The hotel washing machine was not working. The front desk sent a black tech to fix it. After solving the problem, he asked, “So, are you the driver of that bus?”

I explained my role on the Tea Party Express team. Obviously hostile, the big young black man subtly confronted me, “What are you people doing?” Clearly, he was a victim of the liberal media spin which says we are racist against a black president.

I shared with him what the tea party movement is REALLY about. The young black man was clueless about politics.

Listening intensely, he was like a sponge. Amazingly, he said, “I am beginning to see things differently”. Praise God!

God is tooooo cool. A broken washing machine lead to opening a young man’s eyes.

Patriots, I pray that someone will sponsor and help organize a tea party tour to black colleges and communities. Misinformed blacks need to see and hear black conservatives such as Herman Cain, myself and others.

View a video of Jimmy Labriola performing at our rally in Cheyenne, WY.

Lloyd Marcus, Proud Unhyphenated American

Co-Chairman of The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama.

Please help me spread my message by joining my Liberty Network.

Lloyd is singer/songwriter of the American Tea Party Anthem and author of Confessions of a Black Conservative, foreword by Michele Malkin

LloydMarcus.com

09/1/11

Tea Party Express Rallying In Iowa Today!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 1, 2011
CONTACT: Levi Russell at [email protected], or (509) 979-6615

TEA PARTY EXPRESS CONTINUES TOUR IN IOWA
Rallies Today In Cedar Rapids & Davenport

The Tea Party Express (www.TeaPartyExpress.org), is continues their nationawide tour with two more rallies in Iowa today. Yesterday, presidential candidate Michele Bachmann headlined the group’s event in Des Moines.

The full tour schedule is available here.

The tea party rallies have been described as a “rolling 4th of July show”, and will feature Tea Party Express Chair Amy Kremer, Nevada Republican Senate Nominee Sharron Angle, Comedian and TV star Jim Labriola, radio host Andrea Shea King, Gold Star Mom Debbie Lee, and Patriot Action Network New Media Director Eric Odom.

The audience will be treated to musical performances by singer/songwriter Lloyd Marcus, The Rivoli Revue, soloist Diana Nagy, and even conservative rapper Polatik.

Rallies on Thursday 9/1:

Cedar Rapids: 12PM – 1:30PM
Green Park
400 4th Avenue SE
Cedar Rapids IA 52401

Davenport: 5PM – 6:30PM
Leach Park
100 12th Street
Bettendorf, IA 52722

The Tea Party Express launched their “Reclaiming America” national tour last weekend in California, and is rolling across the country holding conservative rallies in 30 cities. The grand finale is the Tea Party Debate hosted by CNN and Tea Party Express on September 12th, where all top-tier candidates have confirmed their attendance.

With a focus on the race for the White House, the grassroots group has offered an open invitation to candidates wishing to attend tea party rallies and ask for the support of the highly engaged tea party activists.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Levi Russell at 509-979-6615 or [email protected]