by baldilocks

Was Bush right? It depends, of course, on what the topic is.

Zero Hedge points to Statista and YouGov polls containing the following information:

Americans have consistently identified ISIS as the biggest threat to their nation across multiple polls. Traditional foes, such as the countries making up George W. Bush’s infamous “Axis Of Evil”, have been pushed into the background by the rise of non-state actors like Al-Qaeda and ISIS. In recent years however, Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes that the threat presented by some of America’s traditional enemies has started to manifest itself once again. Russia’s annexation of Crimea came as a reality check to the Obama administration while as recently as last Saturday, North Korea conducted a ballistic missile test.

YouGov conducted a poll to find out which countries Americans perceive as their nation’s biggest enemies. North Korea has continued to make headlines even after that missile launch with news emerging earlier this week that Kim-Jong-un’s half brother was allegedly poisoned in an airport in Malaysia. Both incidents have illustrated the unpredictability of the nuclear-armed regime in Pyongyang and it comes as little surprise that 57 percent of Americans consider North Korea their enemy.

Recall that George W. Bush named Iraq, North Korea and Iran as the Axis of Evil. In spite of the big headlines that feature Russia as the biggest Bad Guy, the Russians come in sixth on chart–which, of course, does not mean that they aren’t a bigger threat than is perceived by the polled. (Aside: while reading all the reportage about Russia today, I briefly felt 25 years-old again, but my hair color is telling a different story.)

Iran came in second. Syria and Iraq came in third and fourth, respectively–ISIS; and Afghanistan is fifth.

Does the American public have a better handle on who America’s enemies are than their leaders do, both of the recent past and the present? Time will tell. But I think that these polls may show one thing: that Mainstream Media propaganda isn’t as effective as it may seem to those of us who lament its existence. That’s cause for hope.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on February 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

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baldilocks

by baldilocks

I’m reading Donald Trump Is The First President To Turn Postmodernism Against Itself at the Federalist and, while I’m not quite finished reading it yet, it brought up a few thoughts I’d been having about the president’s persona in the action-packed eight days since the Inauguration.

Our previous two presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, had vastly different personas than does President Trump and I think we became a little too accustomed to that earlier way of dealing with the public.

President Bush frustrated many of his supporters by never answering his critics and never addressing the many distortions about him. Did he ever talk about the found WMDs or RatherGate or the nonsense surround the reaction to Hurricane Katrina in public? I have no memory of any response. I suppose I could look it up and find out, but the fact that no personal defense of Bush policies by the man himself stands out to me–someone who has followed the news religiously for quite some time–is telling.

As for President Obama, his “defenses” of his policies were, usually, not true defenses, but passive-aggressive verbal attacks against those in the domestic sphere who opposed him and his policies.

President Trump is a whole different animal; not just different from his two immediate predecessors, but different from most national politicians in recent memory—especially Republicans. In short, he is an a-hole and is not shy about letting you know it. And I say that without any insult intended. (Of course, it isn’t as if we didn’t know this already.)

I’m of the opinion that, outside of greatly charismatic types, leaders should be jerks. Not out-of-control, illogical jerks, but controlled tough guys/girls who will get things done and who know when to put fire under the backsides of his/her subordinates. They should unapologetically defend their decisions and policies in public and straightforwardly own their mistakes without bowing and scraping or ignoring them altogether. And if the verbal attacks happen, they should be straight-on and not girly about it–even if the leader is a girl.

I haven’t liked everything that the president has done in the past week (tariff), but I like the decisiveness and the lack of weasel.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on February 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

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baldilocks

deadelephant
RIP GOP

by baldilocks

Barring something (sort of) unforeseen, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. That one of them will be the Leader of the Free World in January is merely the tail end of an ideological splintering that has been going on since the end of Ronald Reagan’s second term.

And today, we have the President Reagan’s Vice President and successor driving my point home.

Former President George H.W. Bush is bucking his party’s presidential nominee and plans to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, according to a member of another famous political family, the Kennedys.

Bush, 92, had intended to stay silent on the White House race between Clinton and Donald Trump, a sign in and of itself of his distaste for the GOP nominee. But his preference for the wife of his own successor, President Bill Clinton, nonetheless became known to a wider audience thanks to Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend, the former Maryland lieutenant governor and daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy.

The former president has chosen not to comment on the topic–at this point–and his spokesman tells the reporter in spokeshole-speak that it’s none of the public’s business how the elder President Bush plans to cast his vote. Bull Twinkies.

President GHW Bush would never have told Townsend—a Democrat, of course–what his plans are if he didn’t want that information in public. The man is 92-years-old and he doesn’t care anymore, as if he ever did. If the report is true, call it one more stab into the heart of the old GOP.

It’s almost dead, Jim.

Update (DTG): One more thing I’d like to add to Juliette’s piece.

All this stuff happens for a reason, this story came out at this time for three reasons

1. It was necessary to change the subject from the Terror attacks which hurt Hillary

2. It was necessary to get this out there so Lester Holt could ask Donald Trump about it before the 1st debate.

3. This is a blatant attempt to bait Donald Trump to attack President Bush allowing the MSM to feign moral outrage over his response and demand every GOP senate candidate, congressional leader and spokesman to denounce Donald Trump for attacking the 92 year old ex-president.

How obvious can you get?

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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by baldilocks

Right, duty, whatever one wants to call it, I voted today in the California Primary Election. No Party Preference, crossover ballot—Republican. Who did I vote for? Ted Cruz. I figured that readers would want to know.

I first registered as a Republican immediately after the 2000 General Election in which I voted for a Republican picardelectionmemecandidate for president for the first time. This was after a decade-long exploration of the two major political parties and paying closer attention to current events than I had done before that period. Back then, I remained a registered as a Democrat on purpose until after I voted in order to send a tiny message to the party whose principles bore no resemblance to my own. Sixteen years later, the circumstances are similar: this was my first vote as an independent. We’ll see what happens next.


One of my real-life friends tells me that Hillary and Bill Clinton are in town, holding a rally a quick bus ride from my apartment, among other places in LA.

Hillary Clinton is holding multiple campaign events across Southern California on Monday, the eve of the California presidential primary.

Clinton attended a “Get out the Vote” rally at La Fachada Plaza Mexico in Lynwood. Then, she headed to Leimert Park Village Plaza for another rally, followed by an event at Long Beach Community College. The former secretary of state will then head to the Greek Theatre for a concert later in the evening.

The concert will feature singers Christina Aguilera, John Legend and Stevie Wonder.

Clinton has reached the number of delegates and superdelegates needed to win the Democratic nomination, according to an Associated Press survey of delegates.

I get my hair trimmed at a shop about two blocks from Leimert Park and was considering going for a clean-up cut today. Glad I found out about the Clinton event beforehand. Traffic makes me nuts—even when I’m not driving. So do Leftists.

Oh, have I mentioned that my hair is about an inch long? Not so baldilocks anymore. A lot grayer, though.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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goldencalfworshipby baldilocks

17 And there was a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was Micah.

And he said unto his mother, The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from thee, about which thou cursedst, and spakest of also in mine ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it. And his mother said, Blessed be thou of the Lord, my son.

And when he had restored the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, his mother said, I had wholly dedicated the silver unto the Lord from my hand for my son, to make a graven image and a molten image: now therefore I will restore it unto thee.

Yet he restored the money unto his mother; and his mother took two hundred shekels of silver, and gave them to the founder, who made thereof a graven image and a molten image: and they were in the house of Micah.

And the man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest.

In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

–Judges 17:1-6

I won.

–President Barack H. Obama

Conservatism as an objective political concept has no meaning anymore. Many who call themselves conservatives and vote Republican do so for one reason: the prospect of “winning.”

This woman doesn’t understand or subscribe to conservative concepts, nor does she want to do either and I believe that there are many more like her. And, in spite of distortions and falsehoods in the piece, her op-ed is a very useful read. It’s from 2014 and was a harbinger of things to come. There are even some hardcore truths in it.

I am a registered Republican. And I’m black.

I’m for civil and equal rights. A raise in minimum wage, I’m for a woman’s right to choose an abortion. My switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party was not about ideology but about power.

I looked at the Democratic Party as largely taking my vote for granted because close to 90% of blacks vote Democratic, according to the exit polls from the last five presidential elections. While the black community has delivered for the Democratic party, it has done little to deliver for the black community, which finds itself mired at the bottom rung of just about every statistical category from unemployment rates to incarceration rates.

My party affiliation change came with much thought. It happened during the 2010 mid-term election cycle when the Republican Party was catapulted to success on the coattails of a fractional element calling itself first Teabaggers [False] (until someone told them what that actually meant) [False]. The Tea Party Movement changed not only the face of the Republican Party offering up more than 130 candidates for Congress–50% elected to the Senate and 31% to The House. The Tea Party also pushed the Republican Party to the fringes on social issues, in particular [No evidence for this].

All emphasis mine.

That the woman is black and holds “black issues” at the forefront of her political calculations is of secondary importance to my point, which is: that those of us who base our political decisions on a concrete set of ideological and moral standards are in the minority.

Many of my Facebook friends who shared this piece pointed to it as evidence of the futility of conservative outreach in the “black community.” Partially, they are correct, but it’s a much broader problem than a racial one. It’s evidence of the futility of conservative outreach to any group which doesn’t recognize the effects of post-modern education on the thinking of the vast majority its members.

Where nothing is true, anything is true and the definition of a thing is whatever you want it to be. And, above all, the only thing that matters is power. That’s postmodernism.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s Projects JOB: HER TRIP TO KENYA! Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>baldilocks

I saw a tweet from David Axelrod that made me laugh

and not just because it prompted this excellent counter

I smiled for several reasons, first the spectacle of Jeb Bush jumping through hoops trying to say things in the way that the MSM wants him to is quite amusing when you have the establishment of the party & media that had been so determined to crown him the heir apparent.

Even funnier has been the media’s attempt to crown a teenage girl who was maybe 4 when we went into Iraq and was 11 when Barack Obama as the greatest expert on war in the middle east since Lawrence entered Arabia

But the 2nd thing that makes me smile   Is the answer is so simple, that Jeb should be ashamed that he did not think of it.

Let me remind those in the media and the masterminds suggesting candidates denounce our efforts in Iraq that  the war in Iraq was won before Barack Obama decided he wished to lose it. The power and success ISIS in Iraq is completely on him.

I was in favor of the Iraq war & still think George Bush did the right thing, but David Axelrod has a point.  If I knew that Barack Obama was going to give our victory away to ISIS & Iran leaving the Iraqis out and causing our sacrifices of blood & treasure to mean nothing  to dry I wouldn’t have invaded either.

That is such an obvious answer that Jeb Bush  & the rest of the GOP should be ashamed for not saying it and putting the secretary of state at the time on the spot to defend the policy of Barack Obama.

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The first half of the first decade of the 21st century was a horrible time for the enemies of the United States.

The 9/11 attacks which should have been the final nail in the coffin of a demoralized nation bitterly divided by a contested election had largely failed.

A president, who was supposed to be a dunce had managed, after long and contentious debates to unite enough of the country behind him to drive the country’s foes from a land that the Russians had failed to conquer and begin the process of civilizing it.

He had taken the battle to the foe bringing down one of the most dangerous dictators in the middle east and established American power there and even free elections.

He had surrounded one of the chief sponsors of terror in the world with a fleet to the south and Armies to its east, west and even bases to the north in territory once home to their enemies.

He managed to stimulate the economy to recover from the shock of the attack, new businesses were booming and tax cuts had encouraged others (although spending was more than it should be).

Socially the example of strength had given new respect for strong men in the armed services and police that had been marginalized in media for decades encouraging a whole new generation to that direction. Faith in God had increased as it does in a time of crisis and his own personal example of humility encouraged it.

In short a 2nd American century looked like it was in the works, particularly after the president bitterly contested the first time won re-election.

I can pictures those foes now, Islamic terrorists, would be conquerors, anti-capitalists and anti-christians, those who wanted their own power projected over certain parts of the world or rebuild shattered empires. I can imagine they’re dreaming of change, change they could believe in.

If only we could get a different leader in America a leader totally opposite of what he have now. I can see him in my mind’s eye…

A leader who didn’t have the familial experience of this one to draw upon a self-centered person who sees America as a problem not as a solution.

A leader charismatic made in the image that the media’s ideal.

A leader the nation who people would project their dreams upon but inexperienced, untested and unfamiliar with the true ways of the world.

A leader from a broken home, a person who had, rather than working for success had been granted it, simply by virtue of his race or creed or social standing

A leader who would be set up as practically a God, who would by his benevolent power calm the seas and save the world.

A leader who was a narcissist convinced of his own superiority, believing his own propaganda and interested primarily in his own entertainment and satisfaction rather than governing a great nation.

A leader who once elected would retreat from challenges rather than confront them.

A leader who would discourage the projection of American power and values beyond its shores.

A leader who would publicly speak to destabilize his allies and then demoralise them, failing to back them up in their times of need.

A leader who rather than strengthening the Armies of the country would use them as social experimentation grounds to divide and discourage those who would volunteer to fight for America.

A leader who would reverse success and take the pressure off of us so we can recover and thrive.

A leader so timid that he would even allow Americans to die rather than take the responsibility to fight for them.

A leader so committed to the illusion of his success he would redefine what a terrorist attack might be rather than confront it, even in his own soil.

A leader willing to attack the capitalist system, the economic backbone that pays for those troops and all else.

A leader willing to take over large chunks of the economy and then regulate them to the point of collapse, discouraging and dividing the population.

A leader willing to spend money he didn’t have beyond even the most irresponsible limits previously seen.

A leader willing even to break long-established rules and tradition of laws to cement political power.

A leader willing to push and encourage the destruction of American homogeneity.

A leader willing to balkanize the nation if it gave him political gain.

A leader disdainful of both American culture and the family Willing to shatter, divide and even redefine the American family and stigmatize those who did not agree.

A leader willing to exacerbate racial divides for his own purposes.

A leader happy to attack religious institutions, to dispose of 1st Amendment protections of them and even fine citizens & punish citizens for daring to cling faithfully to God over the commands of the state.

A leader who would work to disarm Americans and breed suspicion between races and religions and institutions beyond all those normally generated by human folly.

A leader willing to use the full power of his office not against us but against his political opponents in his own land.

A leader ready willing and able to ignore the law in order to discourage and defeat the people who might unite against.

A leader whose followers would be willing to use any tactics, no matter how blatantly corrupt to keep his opponents in check.

A leader who would have a loyal core of followers united either through race or religion or worldview who would consider any critique of him as blasphemy, racism or hate speech.

A leader whose core followers were so loyal that even their own oppression or economic failure would not cause them to abandon him.

A leader in whom his supporters were so invested that they would retreat into denial rather than acknowledge any failure.

A leader keeping America in such a state that it would be too weak to challenge us and would give the flexibility to do as we will for as long as he is in office.

In short A leader who would bringing America down to depths of discouragement and defeat, allow us to go on the offensive around the world.

I can see those discouraged enemies of America sitting down in despair in 2006 pondering their problems and daydreaming of such an American president and saying to themselves, if only.

And now the exit question:

If our foes had got together in 2006, put out a Help Wanted Ad for such a person, invented their time and invested their time and treasure in electing and re-electing him how would the last six years have been any different?

Update: No wonder The Orcs are winning and in the words of Glenn Reynolds: “I DUNNO, BUT In the U.S. and Europe, The Wormtounges seem firmly in charge

It will take many Rosaries to break Saruman’s spell.

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Update: left a Kate Upton line in the cut and paste

Da Magnificent Seven's John Ruberry
Da Magnificent Seven’s
John Ruberry

By John Ruberry

For pretty much the entirety of his first term in office, President Obama blamed the stagnant economy on his predecessor, George W. Bush. Of course the Obama economy is still in the doldrums and I wouldn’t be surprised if it remained dormant until after he leaves office.

Obama’s biggest, ahem, achievement as president is ObamaCare. He repeatedly claimed, in what was later named the Lie of the Year, his  ObamaCare “You Can Keep Your Plan” promise.  Obama’s half-hearted explanation of that lie and the botched ObamaCare website rollout didn’t measure up to an apology, let alone an acceptance of blame.

Contrast Obama’s misbehavior with that of Chung Hong-won, the prime minister of South Korea who resigned Sunday over his government’s mishandling of this month’s deadly ferry disaster. Last fall Valdis Dombrovskis, the prime minister of Latvia, quit after a deadly supermarket roof collapse that killed 54 people in the capital city of Riga. These men accepted Harry S. Truman’s adage, “the buck stops here.”

Now I am not suggesting that Obama resign over his derelictions. Government instability is the biggest weakness of  parliamentary democracies. Besides, is America ready for President Joe Biden?

But strong leaders admit their failures and they don’t duck responsibility. Twice, however, Americans voted for a symbol rather than a head of state.

In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve. And we are getting just that.

John Ruberry blogs at Marathon Pundit. 

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Last week, my husband returned from a six month deployment in Afghanistan.  So politics haven’t been on my mind much.  Mostly, we’ve just enjoyed family time.  The separation is hard, but reunion is the reward.

With hubby still cleaning the moon dust off his boots, I got a little curious.  How is it going over there?  And are they talking about it much in the mainstream news outlets?

My husband and I have lived the military life since before 9/11.  Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom have been a constant for us for a long time.  Also, we don’t have cable TV, and I don’t turn on the local news unless a hurricane is on the way.

It’s hard for me to get a feel for what is common knowledge and sentiment outside of the military community.  Now, President Obama has said for a long time that we were gonna be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014.  So that is probably common knowledge.

But then recently I read that he wants Afghanistan’s President Karzai to sign a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) that keeps US troops there until 2024.

Well that’s confusing.  So I started googling.  Here’s what I found.

Apparently, personnel designated as “combat troops” would withdraw under the BSA, but Special Forces and other counterterrorism personnel could remain another ten years.  This semantic hair-splitting allows President Peace Prize to continue claiming that the war will end in 2014.

I also found out that President Karzai might not sign the BSA, and if he doesn’t, then Obama might be forced to withdraw all troopsJust like Iraq.

Here’s some more tidbits that I found:

Duh:  Iran opposes the foreign presence in Afghanistan.

Oh really?  Thomas Jefferson used the Quran to devise the legal, moral and ethical stipulations for the American Constitution.

Good grief:  The US considered spending $4 billion of foreign aid to get Afghan men married.

Oh dear:  Both sides of the Afghanistan conflict are using Syria as a training ground.

And here’s some things I didn’t find:

I didn’t find much in the way of antiwar protests against the potential extension of the Afghanistan War.  I googled various key phrases, and the best thing I found was a HuffPo article (Amusing sidenote: guess which president is featured in the photo of this 2013 article?)  It’s about a handful of diehards that hold weekly protests in Montpelier.  Good for them, at least they are consistent.

I also didn’t find many recent official statements about the Afghanistan War, beyond the claim that it is ending soon.  Mark Levin recently lamented the lack of a definitive mission in Afghanistan, so I wondered whether that was true.

Whitehouse.gov was my first stop.  If you hover the cursor over “Issues,” a list that includes Defense pops up.  Oddly, the only specific subtopic is End of Iraq War.

Clicking on the topic Defense gets you some Guiding Principles.  There, we learn that President Obama’s new comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan

“will ensure that all elements of national power are engaged . . .  in an
effort to defeat al Qaeda to prevent attacks on the homeland and on our Allies
and partners.”

You have to click on the link to the new comprehensive strategy for more information.  There, you will find statements like

“We will achieve these objectives [by] . . . targeting the insurgency, working to secure key population centers, and increasing efforts to train Afghan security forces.”

“we are focusing assistance on supporting the President of Afghanistan and those ministries, governors, and local leaders who combat corruption and deliver for the people.”

So there is a mission, and maybe it is comprehensive, but it’s awfully confusing.  We will defeat Al Qaeda by targeting them?  What does that mean?  As long as we are going after them, that is a victory?  I guess the assumption is that Al Qaeda will give up after we target them long enough.  I wonder how long that is.

I had a look over at the Department of Defense, too.  They included Afghanistan as a specific subtopic in “Top Issues,” but disappointingly it was just a link to a NATO homepage.

What’s my conclusion?  Oh, I don’t know.  I hate forming opinions on policies that place friends and loved ones in harm’s way.  Please do share yours in a comment.  And remember all the deployed personnel in your prayers tonight.  And maybe every night until 2024.

Apparently due to the absolutely polarized nature of our political discussion and the rapid nature of mediums like Twitter many people no longer have the ability to pick up forms of humor such as sarcasm as they once did.

In the interest of the well-being of such folk The Emergency blog system for the humor impaired™ brings you this vital message.

When I re-tweet something like this:

This is an example of "Sarcasm"

I am not in fact claiming this attack happened because of “Islamaphobia” which is a term used by those who are:

1. Trying to suppress critiques of any action however barbaric by Islamic radicals

2. Actually “islamophobic” defined as “So afraid that if they don’t kowtow to radical Islam that they will be targeted.”

rather I am making fun of those who cry “Islamophoboa” at the drop of a hat as if this stuff doesn’t go on almost every day.

and when I re-tweet something like this:

Sarcasm example #2 This will be on the test

I am not in fact blaming my friend Pam Geller who I strongly admire; for the Muslims scalding a Christian convert in Norway:

A an ex-Muslim Convert to Christianity was attacked with boiling water and acid by Muslims at an ‘asylum reception centre’ in Norway on Friday.

“Ali” (Not his real name), an Asylum seeker in an immigration centre in Jaeren, Norway, had boiling water poured over him after he converted to Christianity and would not comply with Ramadan fasting rules. He and the other converts at the centre now fear for their lives

but am actually mocking those in the MSM and on the net who falsely tried to pin an act of mass murder on her in that very same country for the fools they are.

This concludes this message from the Emergency blog system for the humor impaired™. If you or someone you love is humor impaired I suggest an emergency dose of the Three Stooges or Monty Python. If it is an advanced case such as the Sarcasm impaired then administer doses of the Marx Brothers each day till they’ve seen all their movies.

Personally I think it’s all a case of Neo-Confederate-Sex-Panic.