Response to ‘Gun Control’ Advocates


It sounds so simple. Pass reasonable gun laws and the mass shootings will end. In the twentieth century, more than a hundred million unarmed civilians were murdered by their own government. “…an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” — Thomas Jefferson. Gun-free zones guarantee unarmed victims.

Everyone in the gun control debate cherry-picks statistics. Some comparing us to small countries use absolute numbers, larger countries percentages, or cultural definitions that make the data fit the opinion.

America is a complex country. Of 196 countries on Earth, only three have larger area, and two have larger populations. China has a mostly homogeneous population: 91 percent Han Chinese. The Chinese have known revolution, genocide, famine and invasion but never liberty. Multi-ethnic Russia, like China, has never known freedom as we understand it but only as having nothing left to lose. Russians have survived revolutions, genocide, invasions, four hundred years of Tsars, 80 years of communist dictatorship and 20 years of kleptocracy. Democratic India — aka Hindustan — 79 percent Hindu, has only known self-government since 1947. The people in most frequently cited gun-safe developed-countries have a history of being obedient subjects.

In Latin American, only Brazil is of comparable size; Latin populations are multi-ethnic. Many have a dominant minority caste of mostly European origin and an evangelized underclass descended from slaves and indigenous people. Most have strict gun laws and lots of crime.

Our population is unusual. While shamelessly slaughtering native peoples, America became a magnet for malcontent immigrants from around the world. Early policies limited immigration to northern Europe, but gradually opened to most countries. Africans were “admitted” prior to 1808.

America has been selectively populated by people who were not content with their status and were willing to take significant risks in the hope of betterment. My ancestors, for example, after lifetimes of oppression, packed up their meager possessions and walked many miles to get on a cattle boat going to a place they had only heard of, hoping it existed. They took the risk. My mother’s brothers were born in Russia, England, steerage class and Philadelphia. They worked, survived the Depression and wars — not that unusual. Family that stayed in Europe probably did not survive the Holocaust.

Natural selection by emigration has evolved Americans reluctant to accept what has always been. Baron Von-Steuben commented that American soldiers were different. They would not follow orders until they were told why. Once they understood why, they followed. We’re people whose ancestors took action. Alexis de Tocqueville noted in 1835 that Americans differed from Europeans in that they would not wait for a bureaucrat to remedy a problem, like a pothole or a troublemaker, but would deal with it directly. General Rommel said he had never seen soldiers more ignorant than Americans or that learned more quickly. Many people imported as indentured labor become entrepreneurs.

If you eliminated all guns, would America be as peaceful as Tibet, as orderly as Japan, or as genocidal as Rwanda, where 70 percent of the Tutsis were slaughtered without firearms? No-one knows, probably somewhere between. On Wikipedia’s list of recent murder rates in 219 countries the US ranks 126th. Not all countries have the same method or criteria for reporting. Some low rates may indicate no objective reporting system. Deaths by police or military may not be counted. What about the “disappeared?” Many countries that outlaw firearms have high criminality, including killing.

Sadly there will always be bullies, and other miscreants who need to be restrained. Sometimes the culture keeps them in check; in some countries it’s law enforcement, or armed responsible citizens. Sometimes the bullies are the government. Tajikistan and Iran have low murder rates — but would you want to live there? Costa Rica has twice our murder rate, yet many Americans retire there. As you read this unarmed civilians are being terrorized by their governments, or other criminals. The Mujahidin say “A man with a gun is a free man.” Be careful what you wish for.


Slugs of War Detecting Gas & Other Creatures Who Helped Win Wars

H/T War History OnLine.

A look at critters during wartime.

A military working dog accompanies U.S. Soldiers conducting an inspection of an Afghan Border Police checkpoint near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border

Mice and canaries also deserve credit for saving many lives during the First World War. These creatures were used to detect poisonous fumes in underground tunnels.

There are many moving stories of how animals helped in wars. During both the First and Second World wars, many dogs were called up for action. They played important roles such as rescuing, tracking, guarding, and other duties.

Carrier pigeons are well known for delivering secret messages. And of course, horses played an important role in cavalries since ancient times. But there were many other animals who contributed their services and even their lives to war efforts.

The variety of different species is much greater than many people realize. Some of these joined regiments as working animals, others as mascots. Many undertook both roles by doing practical work as well as providing some comfort and keeping up soldiers’ morale.

Dispatching of a message by carrier pigeon within the Swiss Army during World War I. Photo: Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv, CH-BAR#E27#1000/721#14095#4508* / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Working animals


Camels were frequently employed in desert terrain which would have been difficult for horses, because camels had the advantage of being able to travel long distances with little water. In the 20th century, these animals played an important role in the First World War, replacing horses in the desert for carrying both loads and riders.

The officer most known for riding a camel must have been T. E. Lawrence, immortalized as “Lawrence of Arabia,” who led an Arab offensive against the Turks in the years just before the outbreak of the First World War.

Lawrence at Aqaba, 1917

During WWI, the Imperial Camel Corps was a camel-mounted infantry force that operated in the Middle Eastern and African deserts. The Corps played an important role in campaigns such as Palestine and Sinai during the war. As the war progressed, the role of mounted infantry declined due to the nature of the fighting, and camels were used more for carrying loads.

Mules, donkeys, oxen, and even elephants also provided an alternative to horses for carrying equipment and heavy lifting.

A posed photograph of Australian, British, New Zealand and Indian Camel Corps troopers

Mice, Canaries and Slugs

Mice and canaries also deserve credit for saving many lives during the First World War. These creatures were used to detect poisonous fumes in underground tunnels.

Part of the Allies’ strategy was to build networks of tunnels under the trenches to reach the German front, which they would then attack from below by filling the tunnel with explosives. However, after the explosions had taken place, the tunnels would be filled with dangerous gases. Soldiers could not enter the tunnels until the gas had cleared.

To check if it was safe to enter the tunnels, mice or canaries would be sent in to test the air quality. If the animal was overwhelmed by the fumes it would pass out. Fortunately, they would often be revived and were able to continue carrying out their important service.

British soldiers with rescued canaries, France, during World War I.

Even slugs could play a part in detecting gases. These creatures were particularly sensitive to mustard gas, which posed a real danger for soldiers in the trenches. The slug would respond by closing up its breathing holes and compressing its body.

Slugs were more sensitive to the gas than humans, so they detected it before the soldiers did. When the soldiers saw the slug behaving in this way, they knew it was time to put on their gas masks.

German soldiers with gas masks, 1915.Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-R52907 / Unknown / CC-BY-SA 3.0


Cats also earned their place by keeping mice, rats, and other vermin in check. The conditions in the trenches created a breeding ground for rats and in some areas, cats were kept and trained to catch the rats which threatened to make the already appallingly unhealthy environment even worse.

Cats were of course also common on naval ships during the world wars, as they had been for previous centuries. Mice and rats were a particular problem on ships. They could not only eat or contaminate the limited food rations held on board but could also be a danger by gnawing through ropes and wires.

Pooli, cat who served aboard a United States attack transport during World War II celebrates 15th birthday.1959

Pets and Mascots

As well as working animals, a large number and variety of animals became mascots. Dogs, cats, pigs, goats, and even monkeys could be found traveling along with soldiers. Some of them were even kitted out with their own uniforms.

Mascots were considered lucky and soldiers, particularly in the First World War, were known to be superstitious. Many soldiers would have found the presence of a lucky mascot reassuring. Animals also helped to keep up the soldiers’ morale and would have provided a comforting presence amid the brutality of war.

Tank Corp’s mascot, ‘Stunter’, and his officer, France, during World War I.

Mascots were often small animals like dogs and cats. Those who did not have a working role often had to be smuggled in. But there were also some more unexpected species including bears, baboons and foxes.

During the Second World War, a Polish regiment adopted a bear cub as a mascot. The Syrian brown bear turned out to be remarkably tame and seemed to enjoy wrestling and play fighting with the men. They named him Wojtek, and once full grown he was over six feet tall and weighed around 250 pounds.

Wojtek sits in front of a soldier.

When the Polish II Corps was sent to Italy the bear went with them and was formally enlisted as a member of the unit. He was given the rank of private and was even given his own number. Once in the front line, he contributed to the effort by carrying heavy items like shells and boxes of ammunition.

Troops of the Polish 22 Transport Artillery Company (Army Service Corps, 2nd Polish Corps) watch as one of their comrades play wrestles with Wojtek (Voytek) their mascot bear during their service in the Middle East.

Like Wojtek, Jackie the baboon started his army career as a pet but soon made himself useful. He was found wandering on a farm in South Africa and was adopted by the owner of the farm. When he enlisted, he brought the baboon along, which turned out to be a good move.

Jackie earned his place in the unit because his hearing and eyesight were superior to those of humans. This meant that he could sense enemy movements before the soldiers did. He would warn the soldiers by making a noise or pulling on their clothing

Corporal Jackie the baboon injured as a soldier in the South African army.

Meanwhile, a “flying fox” joined the Royal Air Force. The fox cub was found in France and adopted as a mascot. The fox even appeared to enjoy flying and was photographed accompanying an airman during a flight.

The roles that animals played in wars is now also commemorated during some veteran events. In Britain, some people wear a purple poppy to honor animal veterans along with the traditional red poppy.

And although horses and dogs are most often in people’s thoughts, it is good to also remember the important work done by other creatures such as camels, canaries, and even slugs.

You Have to Survive First: Caterpillar Club The Club That No One Wants to Join

H/T War History OnLine.

The Catapiller Club is a club I do not think I would want to join.

A membership certificate of the Caterpillar Club.Photo: JHvW CC BY-SA 3.0

While many clubs might difficult to join, not many have such unusual requirements for membership as the “Caterpillar Club.”

It has been described as the club that no one wants to join. And those who become members do so, quite literally, by accident. All you need to do is successfully bail out of a damaged airplane using a parachute.

The club began in 1922 after Harold Harris successfully bailed out of a damaged aircraft using a parachute made by the Irvin Airchute Company of Canada. The company marked the occasion by sending Harris a gold pin.

Harris wasn’t actually the first person whose life had been saved by a parachute. That honor should go to William O’Connor, a pilot who landed on McCook Field, an air station near Dayton, Ohio on August 24, 1920.

Although there is a reference to this event in an early brochure for the Irvin Airchute Co, his fall received little publicity.

Facing a certain crash, Harris bailed out of the stricken aircraft, landing in a backyard grape arbor at a house at 335 Troy St., suffering only bruises on his legs and hand from fighting with the control stick.

Previously, parachutes could not be opened once the pilot was out of the plane. When a plane was spinning due to damage, the parachute could not be put into operation.

Irvin, a former stunt man, devised the first free-fall parachute which allowed you to jump and then pull the chord. He tested the device out on himself in 1919. Having landed with only a broken ankle, Irvin considered the trial to be a success.

Leslie Leroy Irvin made the first premeditated free-fall parachute jump in 1919.

Freefall parachutes were a relatively new concept at the time, and they had been met with skepticism. Some people thought they would be useless as there would not be time to put the parachute into operation.

Much depended on the pilot’s training and fast action to get the parachute open before he lost too much altitude. But the successful bailout by Harris proved that these parachutes could indeed save lives.

Irvin’s company was keen to promote this new piece of equipment. It promised to send a card and a gold pin to anyone whose life was saved by one of the company’s parachutes.

The pin was in the shape of a golden caterpillar. The eyes were originally made of rubies, although these were later replaced with red garnet.

A pin from a parachute company, possibly Switlik or Standard Parachute. This style is common in catalogs and auctions of military memorabilia.

The choice of design was a way of acknowledging the important role of the caterpillar who spun the silk used to make the parachutes. The club’s motto is “Life depends on a silken thread.”

Shortly after Harris’s bailout, two newspaper reporters from the Drayton Herald suggested he should start a club as they realized that, in time, there would be more people receiving the gold caterpillar pin.

Irvin’s company, not surprisingly, thought this was a great idea. After all, it provided good publicity while also celebrating lives saved by the parachute.

And so, the Caterpillar Club was hatched and grew quickly. By 1928, the club had 87 members. Unsurprisingly, the war brought a large increase in numbers so that, by the end of the war, membership had risen to around 34,000.

Membership certificate issued 1957.Photo: JHvW CC BY-SA 3.0

Although fewer pins are given out these days, membership is currently believed to be around 100,000.

It was not long before other parachute manufactures such as The Switlik Parachute Company caught on to the idea and started up similar initiatives. Switlik also used a caterpillar pin, but one that was black and silver.

Today, membership is open to anyone, anywhere in the world, who has used a parachute to jump to safety from a disabled aircraft, regardless of the manufacture of the chute.

The Caterpillar Club distinction awarded to Mieczysław Halicki in 1934.Photo: Jacek Halicki CC BY-SA 3.0

Some Notable Members

Although fame and fortune won’t help you buy your way into this exclusive club, it does have some famous members.

Bram Van der Stok was a Dutch fighter pilot who became famous in 1944 for tunneling his way out of the notorious Stalag Luft III prison camp. The story was the basis of the famous film The Great Escape although Van der Stok had little use for a parachute on that occasion.

Former President George Bush was one of the Switlik caterpillars. His life was saved thanks to a Switlik parachute he used to bail out of a plane on September 2, 1944.

Bush in his Grumman TBM Avenger aboard USS San Jacinto in 1944

As the first person to fly an airplane across the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh was no stranger to aeronautical innovations. Lindbergh’s membership dates back to before he made his famous flight.

He is also a four times member of the club. He had to bail out once while testing a plane and again during a practice flight. He made two more emergency jumps during night time flights while working as an airmail pilot.

Lindbergh with the Spirit of St. Louis before his Paris flight

The astronaut John Glenn was also a member, as was the aviation pioneer Major James Harold (Jimmy) Doolittle.

John Glenn sitting in the cockpit of a jet aircraft at the U.S. Navy Test Station at Patuxent River, Maryland, 1954.

The first woman to join the club was Irene McFarland. Unlike most other early members who had a military background, McFarland was a stunt flyer with an aerial circus.

While flying in a show over Cincinnati on June 28, 1925, MacFarland had to bail out. Her first parachute actually failed to open but, fortunately, her back up parachute worked. She landed safely and became the first female member of the club.

In general, men greatly outnumber women in the club due to the large numbers who gained their membership in the course of their military service.

Laminated membership card to the Caterpillar Club. It was awarded to airmen who saved their lives by parachuting out of an aircraft by the Irvin Air Chute Company. Photo:Dmercado CC BY-SA 3.0

The youngest person to achieve membership is Scottish teenager, Ruari Tait. Aged only 12 at the time, Ruari and his father were forced to bail out of their glider when it was hit by another glider while flying over Aberdeenshire in 2014.

Thanks to their parachutes, they both came down safely while the other pilot managed to fly his damaged glider back to the glider club base. The boy was clearly not put off by his experience and went on to become a qualified solo glider pilot at the age of 14.

The Club today

Today, there are still branches of the Caterpillar Club in Britain, Canada, and the USA. The local branches play an important role in helping caterpillars keep in touch with each other, share news, and also arrange reunions from time to time.

Mass. And NY Are Feeling The Ugly Side Of Minimum Wage Hikes

H/T The Lid.

Hike the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour and lose jobs.

On the bright side, they lost a higher paying job.


After hiking their minimum wages, the states of New York and Massachusetts have found that, far from being a net positive, the wage hikes have resulted in job loss and economic chaos.

The states have discovered job loss, store closures, and reduced hours of work for low wage workers, according to Forbes.

The magazine recently noted that the “ugly side” of the Minimum Wage outweigh the good parts.

“The ugly side is the payroll tsunami they unleash for smaller businesses, already under stress from soaring healthcare costs and rents,” Forbes wrote.

For some of these businesses, the minimum wage hikes tip the balance between staying in business and going out of business.

That’s what happened to once iconic Boston restaurant Durgin-Park in Faneuil Hall. It closed the doors after two centuries in operation, as it couldn’t cope with wage and healthcare premium hikes.

The wage hike killed these workers’ jobs.

This is a significant loss for the city’s historic district, the magazine notes.

But this one, historic restaurant is far from the only place that the Minimum Wage destroyed.

For other small businesses, minimum wage hikes have yet to tip the balance between staying in business or going out of business. But they force them to cut employee hours or lay-off employees to cope with the higher payroll. “First, we have to cut overtime,” says Chris, a franchise owner in Long Island. “Next, we have to lay people off, if we want to stay in business.”

Nowhere is this more evident than NYC, which has seen wage hikes year after year, now paying what the ‘Fight for $15’ movement has fought for around the country.

In March the Foundation for Economic Education reported that following the labor movement’s “Fight for $15” victory, which imposed steep annual increases in mandatory wages for workers, New York City experienced its sharpest decline in restaurant jobs in nearly 20 years. Twenty years? That means NYC  lost more restaurant jobs with the coming of the $15 per hour Minimum Wage than it did in the aftermath of the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Starting this year, NYC raised its minimum wage to $15, a 15% increase from the 2018 level, and a 34% hike from 2017. That was on top of recent hikes in healthcare costs. It was, as Forbes put it, a “payroll tsunami.”

So, what ended up happening after this tsunami rolled over the city?

“Close to three-quarters of restaurants in New York City have cut labor input since the minimum wage was raised to $15 per hour,” the magazine wrote.

That’s according to a survey by The NYC Hospitality Alliance. Specifically, 76.5% of full-service restaurant respondents said they had to cut employee hours and 36% said they cut jobs in 2018 in response to the mandated minimum wage hikes.

That’s consistent with BLS data, which show that New York City full service restaurant employment has gone from an 8% growth back in 2012 to a -2% growth in the last two years.

According to FEE, Economist Mark Perry says this ‘restaurant recession’ is likely the result of the series of mandatory wage hikes that brought the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour,”

In other words, once again leftist policies have proven to be business and job killers.

CONFIRMED: Off-Duty Border Agent Prevents Synagogue Shooting From Becoming A Massacre

H/T Flag And Cross.

A classic example of a good guy with a gun stopping a bad guy with a gun and saving lives.


On Saturday morning, a shooting took place at a San Diego synagogue.

Three people were injured. Unfortunately, one was killed during the Jewish holiday.

Here’s the scoop…

From AP News:

A 19-year-old man opened fire inside a synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday, killing a woman and wounding three others Saturday, authorities said.

President Donald Trump and other elected officials decried what they called an anti-Semitic attack exactly six months since 11 people were killed at a Pittsburgh synagogue in the deadliest assault on Jews in U.S. history.

The man, whose name was not released, used an AR-type assault weapon to shoot worshippers at Chabad of Poway, San Diego County Sheriff William Gore told reporters.




It was then learned that an off-duty border patrol agent jumped into action:

BREAKING: NBC San Diego reports that an off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent who was in the Poway synagogue opened fire on the suspect and prevented the attack from being significantly worse.

Ryan Saavedra


BREAKING: NBC San Diego reports that an off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent who was in the Poway synagogue opened fire on the suspect and prevented the attack from being significantly worse.

6,568 people are talking about this

Enter President Trump with the shout out:

Sincerest THANK YOU to our great Border Patrol Agent who stopped the shooter at the Synagogue in Poway, California. He may have been off duty but his talents for Law Enforcement weren’t!

Donald J. Trump


Sincerest THANK YOU to our great Border Patrol Agent who stopped the shooter at the Synagogue in Poway, California. He may have been off duty but his talents for Law Enforcement weren’t!

35.5K people are talking about this

Brandon Judd is the president of the National Border Patrol Council.

According to him, the United States has never faced a border crisis quite like the one we’re witnessing today.

And yet, Democrats continue to insist there is no problem at the border.


From Daily Wire:

In a radio interview on Tuesday, National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said that U.S. Border Patrol agents are facing the “worst crisis” the agency has ever seen since its formation in 1924.

When asked about the 20,000 migrants that Mexico warned are presently approaching the border, Judd said there is not much Border Patrol can do.

Judd noted, “We ultimately end up letting them go. They cross the border illegally and then we give them what we call a ‘notice to appear,’ and we release them on their own recognizance and what that means is they promise us that they will return for all of their proceedings, but we know that they never do…They know this, that’s why the numbers are so large.

He added, “This is the worst crisis we have ever faced in the history of the Border Patrol, and we’re going back to 1924. In my twenty-one year career as a Border Patrol agent, I’ve never seen it like this.

Judd concluded, “It’s never been like this before this is the worst it’s ever been and if we don’t do something, it’s going to continue to get worse.

President Trump has had it up to here with Mexico when it comes to immigration.

He’s tired of seeing America’s southern neighbor allow migrants from Central America to stroll through Mexico and into the United States.

Obviously, Trump is not alone.

However, 45 has the authority to do something about it.

POTUS is now warning that he may shut down the southern border entirely.

His tweet:

Mexico is doing NOTHING to help stop the flow of illegal immigrants to our Country. They are all talk and no action. Likewise, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have taken our money for years, and do Nothing. The Dems don’t care, such BAD laws. May close the Southern Border!

Donald J. Trump


Mexico is doing NOTHING to help stop the flow of illegal immigrants to our Country. They are all talk and no action. Likewise, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have taken our money for years, and do Nothing. The Dems don’t care, such BAD laws. May close the Southern Border!

55.3K people are talking about this




‘The Highwaymen’ on Netflix is Driving Liberals Mad

H/T Godfather Politics.

The Highway Men in spite of what Snowflakes think or say if you have Netflix is worth watching.

Content consumers wary of any film or TV series branded as a Netflix original given the general track record may understandably hesitate about adding The Highwaymen to their watch list. The Highwaymen chronicles the events after the government hires legendary retired Texas Ranger Frank Hamer (Kevin Costner) in 1934 to essentially do an OO7 on violent celebrity gangsters/folk heroes Bonnie and Clyde. The no-nonsense Hamer brings another Ranger colleague out of retirement for the road trip pursuit.

According to the Netflix description, “Two steely former Texas Rangers are tasked with tracking and killing infamous criminals Bonnie and Clyde in this crime drama based on real events.”


It was an SJW-drenched Guardian review of the Costner film that drew one’s attention to it at all. Apparently, the movie exposes toxic masculinity rather than correcting the Hollywood-distorted historical record.

The Guardian article (and others of that ilk) also constitutes yet another PC attempt to apply 2019 standards to conduct from 80 or so years ago, which admittedly in this film includes a police brutality sequence.

Ranger Danger

According to the Guardian‘s politically correct template, the film presents “an old-fashioned notion of masculinity rooted in insecurity and smallness…Watching Costner try in vain to scale a wooden fence, a viewer may see outmoded mores of manhood fading before their very eyes.”

This analysis is apparently not meant as a parody.

It turns out that The Highwaymen road, while a little slow in parts, is well worth your viewing time regardless of your political views, if any.

This is especially meaningful if merely watching it creates angst for typically phony, left-wing professional movie critics.

Direction, writing, acting, production values, editing, and cinematography are all first rate. The film even includes an old-timey car chase.

In fact, it’s worth watching a second time to gain the full benefit of its subtleties.

The Highwaymen currently has a 77 percent audience favorability on Rotten Tomatoes, but just a 56 percent approval based on reviews.

PJ Media thinks it knows why:

“[R]eaction to the film is almost as interesting as the film itself.

“On both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, the movie clocks in at mid-to-high 50s scores, generally signifying a mediocre effort.

“But a closer look reveals something different: Reviewers who actually reviewed the movie are mostly positive. Reviewers who reviewed their perception of the movie’s politics account for more than half the negative reviews.”

PC Police Dislike this Cops and Robbers Film

As one Guardian commenter joked about the news outlet’s reviewer, “He’s woke AF. He managed to shoehorn a MAGA reference in there however I’m disappointed to see no mention of how an oppressive patriarchy, a gender pay gap and sexual inequality drove Bonnie to a life of crime.”

In an article behind a paywall, the Washington Post apparently claims that the real Hamer championed Jim Crow, apparently overlooking the key fact that the Ranger fought against the Klan in West Texas.

With an additional compilation of politics-obsessed criticism of The Highwaymen, which similarly included a reference to “outmoded mores of manhood,” Lileks.comquipped the following:


“In any case, the outmoded mores on display are this: being the guy who leaves behind a comfy life to eliminate some bandits who are killing anyone who crosses them, and does so without bitching about his own problems. If the new more of manhood is to sit on Twitter all day and bitch incessantly about the world and occasionally write books about Vampire movies, you might be surprised to find that the idea is not universally celebrated.”


Added the Washington Free Beacon:

“As James Lileks noted… the revulsion some critics feel toward Hancock’s film because it dares subvert a Boomer cinematic classic by showing killers to be killers is faintly embarrassing…We can’t be surprised when the images of beautiful killers resonate more than the grumpy old lawmen who ended their reign of terror. As much as America has changed over the last eighty-plus years, from the Depression to desegregation to détente to decline, some fads—like glamorizing murderous nutjobs—just never go out of style.”


Non-Toxic Masculinity?

You may recall that the 1967 Arthur Penn movie starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway immortalized the couple’s famous crime spree.

The Bonnie and Clyde characters only make cameos in the Netflix version, up to their famous confrontation with Hamer and his posse (filmed on the actual road where it occurred in real life).


Moreover, the marketplace seems to be speaking:

In its first month on the streaming network, 40 million-plus households watched The Highwaymen, according to Deadline Hollywood.


Jon du Toit@jondutoit

Looks like Netflix is testing the huge but largely ignored conservative film market, and some liberal reviewers aren’t happy about it.

The Highwaymen is a workmanlike breath of fresh air, utterly devoid of SJW propaganda. It’s actually a subversive film. 

The Highwaymen review – Netflix take on Bonnie and Clyde is criminally bad

Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson star as the cops who took down the infamous duo in an odious and dimwitted thriller

692 people are talking about this


Hamer Time

With credentials issued by the Texas Highway Department for a “special assignment,” the opus shows how Hamer, using his expert tracking skills and cop’s intuition, ended the careers of Bonnie and Clyde with extreme prejudice, to borrow the term from Apocalypse Now.


Fellow Rangers-retiree Maney Gault (Woody Harrelson doing his usual Woody Harrelson thing) and some local cops assist in the final showdown.

PJ Media explains that The Highwaymen “flies in the face of Hollywood liberal convention and restores the reputation of an American hero that Hollywood lore slandered as a vengeful, murdering buffoon way back in 1968.”

Added the New York Post‘s Decider column: “Highwaymen director [John Lee] Hancock has said the film was intended to redeem Frank Hamer, who was played for laughs by Denver Pyle in the 1967 film, to the dismay of the Ranger’s surviving family.”

Hamer’s widow sued Warner Brothers for defamation, over the way the Penn film ridiculed her husband, forcing the studio to enter into a 1971 out-of-court settlement with her.


Mission Accomplished

Cinematographer John Schwartzman does an outstanding job presenting Depression-era Americana. As the Beacon notes: “The Highwaymen is a journey into our past and a reminder of how much things have changed. Poverty—real poverty, with hunger and dirt and fall-down-shacks-for-houses—is everywhere, shanties filled with roving migrants looking to earn pennies a day springing up by the sides of roads.”


John Fusco’s script is expertly crafted. The spare dialogue, in part because of the Hamer character’s stoic nature, conveys an amazing amount of subtext in very few words. In fact, there are only about two or three scenes in the entire film that contain extensive exposition. Writing concisely obviously requires more creativity than the reverse.

As you would expect, Costner is solidly convincing and commanding as the world-weary Frank Hamer, including either gaining weight or wearing a fake spare tire for the part.

Should These Parents Get The DEATH PENALTY For What They Did To Their Little Son?

H/T Clash Daily.

These people deserve to die the same way their son died.

He didn’t stand a chance — born with opioids in his system, and his life only got worse. What he said to the doctor is truly heartbreaking.

Months before he was murdered, the five-year-old boy said to medical staff “‘Maybe someone hit me with a belt. Maybe mommy didn’t mean to hurt me.’”

And now… he is dead.

Social workers visited the Crystal Lake, Illinois home 27 times (18 of them unannounced). They found the house disgusting, reeking of dog urine. And when he was born, he was kept in protective custody for several months because he had opioids in his system.

And now… he is dead.

JoAnn Cunningham, 36, and 60-year-old lawyer Andrew Freund are facing murder charges.

And two social workers have been pulled from any future hands-on work pending an investigation.

But that doesn’t change one critical fact.

AJ Ferund’b body was found wrapped in plastic in a shallow grave.

Cunningham and Freund both face five counts of first-degree murder. In addition, Cunningham was charged with four counts of aggravated battery, two counts of aggravated domestic battery, and one count of failure to report a missing child death.

Freund’s charges include two counts of aggravated battery, one count of aggravated domestic battery, two counts of concealment of homicidal death, and one count of failure to report a missing child death.
Source: NBCNews

I don’t care how ‘broken’ you are as a person… what lets someone beat any child to death, let alone your own flesh and blood.

And that poor, dear trusting child…

“Maybe mommy didn’t mean to hurt me.”

May those damning words ring in their ears for all of eternity.