Movie Review: North of the Great Divide (1950)

Well-plotted Roy Rogers’ flick is friendly to Indians and the environment to boot
Reviewed by Brian R. Wright

Summary: Annual run of the salmon gives Indians of the Northwest their livelihood. This way of life is threatened by canneries on both US and Canadian sides. The owner of the cannery on the US side is a d**k who has his henchman do dirty deeds, and who will overfish the river, which along with the Canadian cannery will starve out the Indians in the near term. Roy Rogers is an Indian Agent of the federal interior department, and good friends with the Indian leaders and helps to stave off trouble and, yes, save the day, with his quick and agile horse Trigger… and his dog who does a lot of running and faithful, enthusiastic work, but is uncredited. [I believe the dog’s name is Bullet.]

I thought I’d give a nod to Mr. Rogers for his work, especially after seeing a film he made toward the beginning of his screen career, 1940, at the age of 29: Colorado. Which was quite good. He basically became a star, “The King of the Cowboys,” during that decade, in the Gene Autry mold… meaning a singing cowboy. Then Roy went on to TV, in the Roy Rogers Show (1951-1957), with his real-life wife, Dale Evans. This is when I was a boy (born 1949), and, as many of my peers of the first TV generation, considered him right up there in the pantheon of childhood heroes. He was also one of the top 10 breadwinners in the Western genre in his day. The Wikipedia article on him lays out the facts that his screen persona and his real persona were virtually the same.

For those wondering why he “didn’t serve” in The Bad War, you may consult this decently written piece in Music Weird. Continue reading

Guest Column: Whither the Independent?

Obsolete phrase: “independence of mind”
By Jon Rappoport [Full original column here.]

Like a car with high fins and long protruding tail lights, the phrase “independence of mind” has gone out of style, especially at colleges and universities where it ought to be the most profound ideal. The thugs have taken over.

As recently as 2008, a professor of Jurisprudence at King’s College London, Timothy Macklem, described the phrase in this fashion:

“Independence of Mind [explores] the ways in which the fundamental freedoms help us to achieve something even more profound, by enabling us to arrive at beliefs, convictions and voices of our own, so that we truly come to think, believe, and speak for ourselves in the rich and various ways that the freedoms then protect. Privacy grants us the distance and refuge from others necessary to develop views of our own; freedom of speech calls on us to imagine ways of expressing ourselves that are both true to the views we have developed and innovative in their own right; freedom of conscience enables each of us to create a distinctive rational personality in which to embed the convictions that we wish to treat as non-negotiable…” Continue reading

Brian’s Column: Indian vis a vis Palestinian

Who got (or gets) the deal more rotten?
By Brian R. Wright

Specifically, comparing the plight of the American Indian rousted by European-Americans of the 19th century and the Palestinian peoples ravaged by Zionist Israel of the 20th… into the 21st. These reflections, and a definitive table of results, stem from my observation—after watching an old 1975 documentary (I Will Fight No More Forever) about how the Nez Perce were finally rounded up after being driven off their lands by the cavalry in abrogation of treaty in 1877—that this was exactly like what the Israelis are doing/have done to the Palestinians in modern times. Except of course that the Palestinians weren’t afforded any kind of treaty to be broken.

I conveyed my thoughts to a small email group that includes the two individuals pictured above, who are also 911 truther friends and associates of mine. [In this ten-member email group resides the well-known, shall I call him, Israeli apostate, international musician and writer Gilad Atzmon.] Anyway, the man on the left above, Mr. Henry Herskovitz, took exception to my characterization of equivalence between ‘what we did/do to the Indians’ and what the Israelites have been doing to the Palestinians for nearly 60 years. In fact, he produced a table of 11 items he had thought of combined with 20 others an Iraqi friend of his contributed.

Candidly, though I protested some that I was talking about the essence of the act of land expropriation and cultural destruction, I was blown away by the comparison. I really don’t think most Americans have the slightest idea how much worse the Israelis have treated and are treating the Palestinians than the whites treated the Indians (as horrifically as they were treated)—and the list doesn’t even include the perpetual Gaza massacre, the West Bank occupation, the Wall, unrelenting arbitrary detention and torture of Palestinians and Arabs, etc.

Continue reading

Book Review: Sacred Nonaggression Principle (2010)

Second Edition: “Mantra for a Nourishing Planet”
by Brian R. Wright
Reviewed by the author

Copyright 2010, Free Man Publishing Co.,
175 pages

Reposting the review from 2010, with a forenote. Namely, the general mission of the book remains as it was originally: to create a groundswell of understanding of and passion for the only principle that is worthy of human beings with independent consciousnesses, wanting to live naturally, with others as we choose, in peace and abundance. An idea whose time has definitely come and we must not let go. [All links to the inexpensive Kindle edition for easy download. Except, if you do wish to purchase the paperback, use this link here… as Amazon seems somehow to have got confused in its cataloging and linking.]

Yes, the second edition—or as I prefer to call it, the “second-first” or “kindergarten” edition (SNaP II)—of the book, the Sacred Nonaggression Principle, is finished. In this incarnation of the Sacred Nonaggression Principle (SNaP) I start with things we all learned from kindergarten: don’t hit, don’t steal, don’t lie. These “Kindergarten Rules” are the nonaggression principle (NaP) libertarians have been talking about, like, forever. But the important thing from a book-reception perspective is, “EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS IT.

The progression of ideas in the book is as follows:

    • Foreword and Prologue—The audience of the book breaks down into two natural groupings, those who are freedom-receptive and those already committed to the libertarian cause. A society without coercion is possible, and will be achieved as we solve the Big Universal Problem (BUP)—of political-economic tyranny.
    • Chapter 1: Kindergarten Rules—Leading off with notions that hail from the simplest tenets humans learn from childhood. Robert Fulghum’s book Everything I Know I Learned in Kindergarten spells out: 1) Don’t hit. 2) Don’t steal. 3) Be honest. These “Kindergarten Rules” are the nonaggression principle. It makes sense to hold them in the highest regard in all of society.

Continue reading

Movie Review: Enemy of the State (1998)

Exciting, frightening film about the 900-pound gorilla that’s already in the kitchen

Written by David Marconi
Directed by Tony Scott
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer

Will Smith … Robert Clayton Dean
Gene Hackman … Edward ‘Brill’ Lyle
Jon Voight … Thomas Brian Reynolds
Regina King … Carla Dean
Lisa Bonet … Rachel F. Banks
Jake Busey … Krug
Scott Caan … Jones
Jamie Kennedy … Jamie Williams
Jason Lee … Daniel Leon Zavitz
Gabriel Byrne … Fake Brill
Stuart Wilson … Congressman Sam Albert
Jack Black … Fiedler
Jason Robards … Congressman Phillip Hammersley
Tom Sizemore … Boss Paulie Pintero
Loren Dean … Loren Hicks

When I first saw this movie—geez, hard to imagine this film being made nearly 10 years ago!—I was more moved by the technical wizardry than tuned into this jumbo-sized chronicle of the national security state gone awry. [And now, with this repost here in August 2017, and reformat, consider that it’s been nearly 20 years of surveillance-state growth and dominance of every inch of our lives.]

That, and I remember feeling so friggin’ irritated with Carla (Regina King) for bitching about Robert (Will Smith) doing business with Rachel Banks (Lisa Bonet):

The Claytons’ home has been broken into, the NSA has framed him, his high-powered legal firm has fired him, and his reputation has been trashed in the D.C. papers.  So this stand-by-your-man wife throws him out of the house without giving him a chance to explain.

Keep in mind Carla is an ACLU attorney and has just the day before giving Robert a lecture about how our rights are being trampled by the state.  Their lives are unraveling from some hostile agent, and she’s getting emotional about some old flame he still has to talk with occasionally?  Women!

Turns out Carla’s bitching is the least of his troubles: Continue reading

Guest Column: Charlottesville

Being turned into another nail in Trump’s coffin
By Paul Craig Roberts [Full original column here]

Listening to NPR this morning confirmed what I already knew. Charlottesville is being turned into another nail in President Trump’s coffin.

NPR had no interest whatsoever in reporting the actual facts about what had occurred in Charlottesville. The several “interviews” with the like-minded were orchestrated to produce the desired propaganda result: It was all Trump’s fault.

It was Trump’s fault for many reasons. He had stirred up White Supremacists and Nazis by appealing during the presidential election campaign to their supremacist views with his slogan “America first.”

Of course, what Trump means by “America first,” is precisely what the voters understood him to mean—the interest of the broad American public should come before trade deals that serve the interests of other countries and the narrow profit interests of global corporations. However, the NPR propagandists put words in Trump’s mouth and twisted the meaning of the slogan to be “White America Comes First.” Continue reading

Brian’s Column: American First Principles Day, August 2

Setting up the Holiday and Invoking Our First Principles for the Common Good
By Brian R. Wright

Recently, while in attendance at the Oakland County, Michigan, meeting of Campaign for Liberty (C4L), master of ceremonies, Dennis Marburger, stated that the actual signing of the Declaration of Independence occurred on August 2, 1776. I had forgotten this little acknowledged fact, but truly this is a significant day. Because this is when those in the assembly actually put their ‘lives, fortunes, and sacred honor’ on the line. Perhaps more important to ‘the course of human events’ than political independence from England is the Declaration’s famous statement of what have become known as American First Principles—and, further, the foremost universal statement of INDIVIDUAL rights:[1]

  1. Equality before the law
  2. Natural rights of the individual
  3. Government’s sole purpose to secure these natural rights
  4. Government’s powers deriving from the People
  5. People’s direct authority to monitor and control government, even dissolve it

AKA American First Principles. These are the foundation of all valid laws for ‘our people’ … and by extension any other peoples willing to assert such inherent natural rights. [For ‘rights’ one may read ‘fundamental freedoms.’ I’m not going to quibble over terms. Like Ayn Rand, I’ll stipulate that a right is the moral claim of “freedom of action in a social context.”] The point is our individual rights—no matter who we are—are inviolable and we the people are in charge of all public servants whose job is solely to secure these rights. They screw up, we step in… it is a legal necessity and, indeed, we are morally and civically obliged to do so. Continue reading