Saturday, January 19, 2013

Obama 2016 Review

RSS Feed From Donald R. McClarey On September - 2 - 2012

This is a syndicated post from The American Catholic. [Read the original article...]

Click here to view the embedded video.

My family and I went to see the documentary Obama 2016 yesterday.  The documentary is based on Dinesh D’Souza’s book The Roots of Obama’s Rage which posits that the key to understanding Obama is that he is motivated by the same anti-colonial ideology that motivated his Kenyan father.  I disagreed with his thesis, so I was uncertain whether I would enjoy the movie.  Read below for my review of the film.  The usual spoiler alert applies.

We saw the movie in Kankakee, Illinois at the Paramount Theater.  I was surprised that over 200 people were present at the 1:00 PM showing which was astounding for a documentary in a relatively small community like the Kankakee-Bradley-Bourbonnais area.  The crowd was rather a good deal more serious than most movie going crowds.  They were obviously there to learn as well as to entertain.

I was pleased at how good the production values were for the film.  It cost 2.5 million to make and every dollar was well spent considering the polish of the final product.  Dinesh D’Souza appeared on-screen as the narrator and did a first-rate job.  He came across as someone genuinely curious to find out what motivates Obama.  We follow him as he goes to Hawaii and Kenya to talk to people who knew the young Obama and his father.  He also speaks to authors who have written about Obama, including  Shelby Steele and Paul Kengor who has written a biography of the communist Frank Marshall Davis who served as a mentor and substitute father figure for Obama.

The central figure in the movie is Barack Hussein Obama, Sr.  Born in Kenya to a Muslim family, he attended Christian mission schools and converted to Christianity (as a young man before meeting Ann Dunham, the mother of President Obama, he would renounce Christianity and become an atheist.).  A bright student, he received a scholarship from a program organized by nationalist leader Tom Mboya.  The money for the program came from black Americans and the Kennedy family.  At 23 he went to the University of Hawaii and met Ann Dunham who was 17 years old.  Dunham’s family was of a radical bent politically, and she quickly fell in love with Obama who was a black nationalist and a socialist.  They married, Obama neglecting to mention to Dunham that he was already married in Kenya and had two kids.  Soon after President Obama’s birth the couple separated, with Dunham going to the University of Saint Louis, and Obama senior graduating from Hawaii and going on to Harvard where he earned an AM in economics.  Obama senior eventually went back to Kenya where he became a senior economist in the Kenyan government.  He and Dunham divorced in 1964.

Obama junior grew up idolizing his absent father.  When he was 10, his father made a month’s long trip to Hawaii to visit him, which confirmed in his boy the belief that his father was a great man.  Only after his death in 1982 did Obama learn that Obama senior was a drunk who beat his four wives and who died in poverty as a result of his alcoholism.

D’Souza contends that from his father, and other far left individuals that he encountered during his early life, Obama embraced an anti-colonial ideology that views the United States as evil, Israel as evil and capitalism as evil.  That statement over-simplifies D’Souza’s argument to some extent, but that is what it boils down to.  If Obama is re-elected, D’Souza believes that the US will be militarily weak, confronting an ever more radical Islamic threat in the Middle East and our economy will have gone over the debt-cliff and be in shambles.

D’Souza makes a persuasive case in his film.  I agree with D’Souza as to Obama’s disdain for capitalism, his suspicion of US power in the world, his contempt for Israel and his fondness for radical movements in the Third World.  However I disagree that these are an inheritance from his father.  Obama’s views are fairly typical of modern-day liberals and reflect intellectual trends that have been dominant on the port side of our politics since circa 1972 when the McGovernites captured the apparatus of the Democrat party.  I believe that Obama would hold the same views if his father had come from Harlem instead of Kenya.  Obama’s mother was probably a much greater influence on the young Obama and she was a typical far Left academic, filled with Third World romanticism, in short the type of individual who rose to dominate the Democrat party in the seventies.  Obama’s beliefs are not exotic as D’Souza claims in his film, but rather typical of what is embraced by most Democrat politicians.  More’s the pity.

Having said that I would still give the movie a thumbs up.  I found it entertaining and informative and encourage people, especially those who know little about the background of Obama, to see it.  The movie has become an unexpected hit, earning over fourteen million dollars thus far, which is phenomenal for a documentary.  This is a film that people will not only see, but also talk about, judging from the rapt attention that the audience was paying to the film in the showing which I and my family attended.

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Donald R. McClarey (415 Posts)


8 Responses to “Obama 2016 Review”

  1. john says:

    “2016″ is the most important movie documentary you will ever watch. The future of our country and freedom demands that you watch this.

    In “2016″, Dinesh D’Souza clearly describes how Obama’s politics came from Third World influences — from his communist revolutionary father in Kenya, to his early years spent as a Muslim with his mother in Indonesia. What follows is a clear description of how Obama:
    1. Fully intends to diminish American influence and strength in the world.

    2. Has already begun to unilaterally disarm our strategic nuclear arsenals and eliminate our nuclear warheads to zero, while the remainder of the world is clearly escalating their own nuclear arsenals.

    3. How it is clear that Obama has purposefully spent and borrowed America to the point of imminent economic collapse, to achieve his end game of One World Order, propping up third-world countries, while diminishing our own economic strength.

    4. How Obama has completely stifled our own energy exploration and utilization at every turn of every available asset, including coal, oil exploration, delivery, and refinery, and natural gas, while sending BILLIONS in American taxpayer dollars to countries like Brazil and Mexico to exploit the very same Gulf oil stores that he refuses to grant permits for to any domestic energy producers.

    5. Obama’s historical associations with communist revolutionary radicals like Khalid Al Mansour, William Ayers, Louis Farrakhan, Rashid Khalidi, Frank Marshall-Davis, and others.

    6. Obama’s preference for an anticolonialist approach, one that would favor the rise of the Third World (or, as D’Souza labels it, the United States of Islam), greatly reduce Israel’s influence and cede the U.S.’ role as a superpower. This aspect, creation of a Global Caliphate implemented through The Muslim Brotherhood and “The Arab Spring” is well underway, kicked off by Obama’s Muslim Apology Tour in Cairo, and moved along by his anti-semitic treatment of Israel, his hand’s-off approach to Syria and Iran, his invasion of Libya under the pretense of a NATO strike, and his sending billions of taxpayer dollars to the new Muslim Brotherhood leadership in Egypt.

    Wake up America. The movie “2016″ is an outline of our own demise. See it BEFORE YOU VOTE THIS NOVEMBER!

  2. Lolita says:

    I went to see it today and Dinesh did a good job of defending his hypothesis that Obama is simply an anti-colonialist and that his wealth redistribution desires on the homefront expand to the deconstruction of wealth and power on the global arena as well…that he ran on a relatively moderate platform and hid his extreme leftist agenda from the public’s eye with the media’s help. What I disagree with you is your stating that this is a documentary - it is an editorial opinion piece turned to film - it sets Dinesh apart from a Michael Moore - who outlandishly declares his films to be documentaries time and time again disproven with made up facts, misconstrued facts, etc. I respected most that Dinesh was transparent that this was his theory which he worked to back with the opinions of others and using Obama’s own book material. I agree that the world and America is a much more dangerous place in another 4 years should this man be re-elected and i am hopeful the turn out to vote for a more moderate alternative, Romney (please, let’s not call him a Reaganite..he is definitely a more center conservative), on election day.

  3. JohnInPA says:

    Seems like this review is a scam and was obviously written by the Director of the movie. Yeah, like we’re supposed to believe 1) the supposed neutral reviewer knew about the book and disagreed with it’s premise, but 2) heaps praise on it and ends up whole heatedly encouraging everyone to see it!

    For a Catholic site, it’s sad to see lies likes this…

  4. David says:

    In this movie D’Souza does the vetting of Obama that the main stream media chose to ignore in 2007/8 using Obama’s own words. (I’ll bet Obama is wishing he hadn’t done the audio on his own book right about now).I can only hope that this movie sticks around until November and that it quickly goes to DVD and becomes available at Redbox and Netflix for Obama supporters who would not go see this movie at the theater but may catch it at home and learn a thing or two about their messiah and his plans for America.

  5. Kevin says:

    Its not a DOCUMENTARY!

    It is a fairy tale, that might be called “science fiction” if the supporters were not so anti-science.

  6. Teresa Martin says:

    Well I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’ve had doubts about who Obama is from the third time I watched him speak. At that time I was drawn to the genuine excitement that the people who surrounded him seemed to have. But then as I listened I heard glorious words without any substance. I felt that he was too polished, putting on an act. There were inconsistencies and most distrustful to me of all, was that the media was so obviously biased toward him. Hillary had important thoughts about issues and the media wasn’t interested in hearing them. I am so thankful to have someone bring forth what has been hidden to Americans about the person who is leading us. Are we blind sheep who simply follow? Well, yes, but we have to wake up and I hope we do before it is too late.

  7. Angela says:

    You cannot claim Catholicism and vote pro-choice. It is not negotiable. The discussions of economics, our position in the world, and whether Obama is Messiah or Lucifer himself are all secondary.

  8. Carmine says:

    I am sorry for you all guys. I believe a good part of Americans are a bunch of ignorant. I am not American. I have been living in many countries but here with you it is the most ridiculous. This country needs people with education that most of the time are foreigners. We cannot vote otherwise the Republicans will lose their pants. Instead they keep you ignorant so it is easy for them to control your minds. I have been talking with a lot of you, and the way as you talk about socialism, health care and tax or spending, reveals how i.d.i.o.t you are. Obama has been working very well even the Republicans and some (Corrupted) Democrats has been stopped all his bills to improve the economy of this country. I Make a lot of money here, when your idol Mitt Romney will destroy what is remaining of good of this America, I will move to another country and you will be again un-employee or work for $8 per hours for your dear wealthy.

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Nice selection of Mass settings by Dominican Sisters

These are nice chant settings of the Mass in English.

The Beautiful Persistence of Chant

In some way, it’s all a miracle.

I can stand right here where I am and quickly sing a melody that is roughly the same as the first melody cooked up by an anonymous monk in the 7th century. That melody was committed to memory by others around that monk and then transmitted from place to place through constant repetition. It lived further through the generations, passed from old to young, and then again as the young became old and it was passed on again, cascading through time and place, and all long before anyone had thought up a way to write it down.

Then in the 11th century, the means became available to take this series of sounds and put them into paper form, so that the melody could be transmitted from place to place and from generation to generation even if it weren’t heard. The melody took on a new form, a form that made immortalization even more technologically possible.

Then printing came and made the process even easier. For the first time, the entire body of work could be easily reproduced and distributed all over the world.

Five hundred years went back until something even more spectacular happened. The chant took on a new digital form. Once the chant became digits, the limits of physical transmission were entirely overcome. The same chant, again without actually being heard, could be distribute billions and trillions of times unto infinity and never degrade with each passing use. One click to put the chant on digital networks and it enters into a new status of universal reach, capable of serving all of humanity so long as this world exists.

But there was even one more stage in this long evolution. Digital media made it possible to transmit not just the physical music but also a real recording of monks singing the chant. Right now we can hear a version that was sung perhaps back in the 1950s. Every singer is probably dead by now but that one version they sang that one time way back then can be resurrected and live, as alive right now as it was when it was first sung.

We can copy their vocal inflections and their careful interpretations and make them out own, and then turn around and make our own versions, which can be listened to by people 100 years from now. It’s like a time capsule that is never buried but continues to be added to even as it serves the living and the dead.

And to think that it all began with one voice, one person singing one thing some 1,400 years ago.

To enjoy such access is a unique privilege of our generation. This is the music of the Roman Rite. It came of age with the ritual itself as a means of making it more beautiful, more worthy, more compelling, more wonderful as a means of praising God in our public worship.

Why are we attracted by making our own bodies instruments to make this happen in our time? Because in this music we find truth and meaning. This means transcends the lifespans of all all existing things. It is evidence of the capacity of truth to extend beyond one generation, any existing political arrangement, any existing business firm or man-made institution. It is a manifestation of the persistence of the faith in all times and places, its miraculous capacity for outliving every attempt to kill it. It is immutable. It is strong. It is mighty. It gives us a glimpse of eternal truth.

Lately, I’ve been thinking more about this claim that the reason we are drawn to chant is that our deconstructionist age has made us fearful of change. The claim is that we cling to chant as an arbitrary source of stability.

What is meant by this idea of deconstruction? The movement is a 20th century idea. It began with legal studies. The deconstructionists observed that the law does not necessary embed robust truth. It is essentially made up by self-interested politicians. It is the product of interest groups, designed to help them at other’s expense. The law was revealed to be a kind of hoax.

The method of analytics spread to literature. What does a novel mean? The author might have one idea, but we can’t necessarily known what he or she intended. And maybe the author himself or herself was not fully aware aware of its meaning. In any case, we are the readers. We are the interpreters. Our own cultural conditioning heavily influences our own reading, and we cannot escape this. The dominant meaning for us is entirely subjective and it is pointless and fallacious to somehow insist that our subjective meaning be imposed on others.

So it is with language. It is just words and words change. They serve an instrumental value of enabling communication between people. We use them as a way of groping through the dark, working together to find ways to cooperate with each other. The means of words extends from their use only and is never embedded in the words themselves. It is all arbitrary and changing, never fixed. In this way, language too evades any claim to permanent meaning. Meaning is dictated by culture and does not descend from on high.

So too with the interpretation of philosophy, politics, art, theology — really everything. Nothing really means anything in a fundamental sense. Everything is conditioned on society and on our subjective minds. This is why we cannot speak of truth with a capital letter but only what is true for me and what is true for you, and this is forever evolving.

So goes the deconstructionist way of thinking.

Let’s grant that this is entirely correct. None of what we once thought to be true really is. What is left for us to hang on to? What in our universe can be counted on to last and persist and actually embed something valuable in the ultimate sense.

Liturgy is the great exception. It does not exist in time. It extends out of time into eternity. It touches a real outside of time and the material world. It points up and out of time. Through it we receive communication from God and find ourselves transported out of the limits of the physical and into communication to God to give praise. In sense this, and if this is true, the deconstructionist critique of the realm of time cannot touch it. We did not make up liturgy. The liturgy is a gift from all eternity to us.

No matter how much we might decided to accept the deconstructionist idea — and maybe even the more we accept the idea — the more impressive the liturgy truly is. It is the great exception, a means that we have to access truth with a capital T. Within liturgy we are rescued from a world that is otherwise invented, manufactured, and arbitrary.

This is one reason that the liturgical spirit that imagines ourselves to be making the liturgy rather than accepting it is so dangerous. It threatens to reduce liturgy to the status of law, literature, language, and politics. It cannot be so! The liturgy is the one thing in our world that evades the imperfections of all the things we create ourselves.

Now back to the chant. Here is the music of the liturgy, a thing transported through the ages by repeated singing, blessed by God to achieve immortality across all ages and places. It is the musical corollary to the liturgical text and integral to the liturgical action itself. We are not drawn to it out of fear but because we long for things that the permanently true, for sounds that are not arbitrary, for art that points to the Creator of all art.

Yes, the chant was made at some point by one human person but a human person who worked to discover a musical sound of eternity. And when this happened, it became part of the liturgical experience and it took on a new form, blessed and blessed again by its use in the eternal project. We stand here a millenium and half later and sing it in the same way. It is our means of accessing the longest possible human experience in our insatiable desire to find and touch the truth of God.

One simple song can do this when it is part of liturgy. It is not arbitrary. It is a rare and impenetrable well from which our generation can drink something pure and true in a time when everything else seems to be crumbling. This is a true act of love. To sing the chant is to find authenticity and purpose, to be part of something that is not only larger than our own time but larger than time itself.

Hymn to St. Agnes

Just a quick re-post of my translation of the Ambrosian hymn Agnes beatae virginis, in honor of the Virgin Martyr whose feast we celebrate Monday.

 

The blessed virgin Agnes fliesback to her home above the
skies.With love she gave her blo…

Ward Courses will be offered in Colorado this July

Ward method classes, taught by Dr. Alise Brown, will be offered at the Univeristy of Northern Colorado as follows: Ward I will be offered July 8-12 and 15-17; the dates for Ward II are July 22-26 and 29-31. The cost is $825 for in or out of state tuition for each course, with 3 credit hours available for each. More information can be found here

Dr. Alise Brown is an instructor of music education at UNC. She began her teaching career in Secondary English Education, but discovered that her love of music presented a more fulfilling career path. Dr. Brown received her Master of Music degree in Music Education and her Doctorate of Arts in Music Education from the University of Northern Colorado. She has taught music in private and public schools at all levels.

She holds Orff and Kodaly training, and is fully certified in all levels of the Ward Method. Dr. Brown has been privileged to study under the Gregorian chant specialists Father Robert Skeris, previously of Vatican City, and Scott Turkington.

Dr. Brown specializes in music literacy and expressivity as taught in the Ward Method. Her work with two children’s choirs, ages 4 -12, and directing the Windsor Community Choir rely heavily on these same principles. Dr. Brown also leads workshops and gives in-service presentations to schools and organizations regarding the Ward Method and its tenets.

Teaching in the Music Education Area at UNC since 2001 has been Dr. Brown’s joy. She has also taught music appreciation at Dayspring University in Ft. Collins and at Rivendell College in Boulder. Write to Dr. Brown at [email protected]

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