Monday, February 25, 2008

Obama's Safety

The Associated Press, whether intentionally or not, perpetuates the notion that America is irredeemably racist by running an article publicizing the fear of some African Americans that Senator Obama's success has placed him in mortal jeopardy. Their concern is that a black man calling for "change" is going to be the target of an assassin's bullet just like Medgar Evans or Martin Luther King.

Perhaps the fear is legitimate, although we should note that we have to reach back forty years to find precedents. Even so, I don't recall similar articles expressing concern about George Bush's safety when he took on Islamic terrorism, nor was there a lot of concern about his father's safety despite his humiliation of Saddam Hussein in 1991 and the thwarted attempt on his life after he had left the presidency. Nor do we read of concerns for John McCain's safety even though he will undoubtedly continue, if elected, to prosecute the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and target Muslim terrorists around the globe.

In our world, every president and presidential candidate has a bullseye on his chest, and for the AP to suggest that Obama's bullseye is bigger than others just because he's black is to accuse white America of a racism that is presumably, given their lack of concern about the safety of the Bushes and McCain, much more virulent, violent and dangerous than is Islamic terrorism.

Nevertheless, despite the shortcomings of the AP's article there may indeed be good reason to fear for Obama's safety. Consider the startling number of people associated with the Clintons who have came a cropper either by murder, "suicide", or mysterious accident. Of course, it may all be coincidence that the Clintons must spend half their waking hours attending viewings for acquaintances who have passed on prematurely, or maybe there's some kind of voodoo curse on the couple, but even so, if people are concerned about the Senator's safety they may try urging him to not ask Hillary to be his Veep. No sense tempting voodoo.


Prairie falcon

A western species of falcon, almost never found in the east, has turned up within an hour's drive of my home and thus made a trip to see it yesterday irresistable. The bird is a Prairie falcon, and it's been hanging around some fields and a quarry just north of Shippensburg, PA. The Prairie falcon is about the size of a crow and a much faster flier. There are more strikingly plumaged raptors than this one, but watching him in flight was quite a treat.


Vantage Point

Debbie Schlussel loves the new movie thriller Vantage Point:

Hollywood is finally giving us true terrorists who are unsympathetic. Hollywood is finally giving us good guys who are good and bad guys who are Islamic terrorists without an excuse or any redeeming value.

In "Vantage Point," out [last] Friday, the terrorists are Islamic, and they are evil, cold-blooded killers. Finally, Hollywood is giving us "truth-in-terrorism." And it's an exciting thriller.

Boy was I ever wrong about "Vantage Point." And boy am I glad I was. As readers will recall, I wrote on this site that the trailer for this movie made it look like this was, yet again, another movie in which Muslims were not actually the terrorists, but good and victimized people mistaken for terrorists--yet another movie in which the Westerners are the bad guys.

But it was the exact opposite. The President (William Hurt) and the U.S. Secret Service Agent (Dennis Quaid) who is the hero in this movie are, without reservation, the good guys. The terrorists are Muslim and they are the bad guys. There is nothing presented in this movie to justify the mass carnage they produce.

There's much more about the movie and its plot at the link. Schlussel criticizes it for taking too long to get going, but, like a roller coaster, once it climbs to the top the rest of the ride is an adrenalin rush. Here's the trailer:

Actually, this isn't the first good movie to treat terrorism in a realistic fashion. If you can't wait for Vantage Point try The Kingdom with Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, and Jason Bateman. It, too, is very good and very believable though it is R-rated so you might not want to sit down to it with the children.

But Schlussel's point is well-taken. So many movies and shows like 24 sacrifice credibility by adopting the politically correct but totally implausible story line that terrorists are disaffected Europeans, CIA renegades, or corporate megalomaniacs motivated by little more than revenge or greed. That may have worked in the 1970s when European terrorism was a serious problem, or in a movie about Ireland's "troubles", but the intelligent viewer simply loses interest in any movie today about global terrorism that features non-Muslims in the role of the terrorist.

It's as if we're being asked to ignore what everyone knows to be true and believe that the naked emperor is actually arrayed in fine raiment simply for the sake of not offending the very people who are trying to kill us. The Kingdom doesn't do this and neither, apparently, does Vantage Point.